Magazine article Sunset

The Fleeting Berries of Summer

Magazine article Sunset

The Fleeting Berries of Summer

Article excerpt

A great way to enjoy them is with light syrups

SOME OF THE Season'S finest domestically grown berries make brief, often sporadic, summer appearances in Western markets and at farm stands. Now through early August--with an occasional last hurrah in early fall is the best time to seek them out.

Here's what to look for:

Blackberry family. Two true blackberries are Marion--tender with rich, tangy-sweet flavor--and Olallie--long, slender, and sweetest when deep purple. Logan and Tay, both blackberry-raspberry crosses, are long and red with a rather musky flavor. Boysen, likely a logan-blackberry cross, is large, luscious, sweet, and aromatic.

Raspberry family. In this group, black raspberries, or black caps, have a musky, deep berry flavor and seem seedier than their red counterparts. Golden raspberries, patterned like honeycombs, are delicately flavored.

Gooseberries. These green, crunchy berries are tart or sweet, depending on the variety. Josta, a gooseberry--black currant cross that looks like a purple gooseberry, is sweet-tart in flavor.

Red currants. Brilliantly colored, translucent, tart-sweet berries grow in clusters with lots of little stems; seeds are chewy.

To appreciate any of these berries, serve them simply with one of these light syrups.

For a serving, allow about 1 cup berries (mixed, or 1 kind) and 1/4 cup syrup.

Lemon-Berry Syrup

About 2 lemons

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup water

About 1/3 cup berry-flavor liqueur such as raspberry, black raspberry, or strawberry

With a vegetable peeler, cut all the yellow part from 1 lemon. …

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