The Taste of Summer: Berries

by: The Kitchen Generation Team

As food bloggers, we not only love food but the other aspects of blogging, too. From photography to writing to styling food. Every so often, we’ll show you our take on styling a particular food.

This post is dedicated to our favourite berries and berry recipes. Berries are the taste of summer- green grass, blue skies, great company, and delicious food. Join us in styling and sharing our love for berries in our flickr group.

Red currants are slowly becoming less of a mystery to me. Before my mom planted a bush in our garden, I saw them as an unusual luxury ingredient, something you’d look for at the grocery store for a particular recipe. Now we have more than we can eat, enough to stain every finger. Each berry is a slightly see through globe, redder than you thought possible, thin-skinned and easy to burst. But their sweet-tart flavor makes them more then a garnish. I like throwing a few handfuls into baked goods, simmering them into a sauce to stir into lemonade and maple syrup, and swirling puree into vanilla ice cream. (Recipe: Red Berry Swirl Vanilla Ice Cream)

Blackberries are the very essence of summer for me. Down the winding gravel road that leads to my home there’s a large spray of wild blackberry bushes. They are brambly things, completely overgrown, not taken care of by anyone in particular, free for the taking. Each summer, I do a lot of picking. My favorite way to eat them is each churned into a sorbet, but I also love to just pop the carton of fresh berries into the freezer and have then have handfuls as a treat. (Recipe: Black Tea Blackberry Sorbet)

Strawberries are the taste of cerulean blue skied summers and the sun on your shoulders. During the summer months, there several punnets of the glorious red berries à go go in our home. Straight-from-the-market berries are macerated and served with crushed meringue and a douvet of just-sweet-enough whipped cream. They are also squidged in a skillet with some natural cane sugar and lemon zest until nubby and sweet to create a phenomenal venetian red sauce to be swirled into a vanilla-freckled ice cream base. Bliss. (Recipe: Strawberry -Vanilla Swirled Ice Cream)

Blueberries are rich with memories for me. A few years back, we visited a friend’s blueberry farm in rural Nova Scotia. Whenever there is a bowlful of in-season blueberries, my mind drifts back to that simple day where we filled our hats with the berries while wandering through the gorgeous countryside. I think of the many afternoons of sitting in the backyard, letting the berries stain my fingers while searching for the perfectly sweet ones. I’ve always adored how they burst in your mouth as you eat, but rarely break while being handled. I love to toss blueberries into yoghurt, throw them onto my cereal, eat them out of hand and of course, make pie with them. (Recipe: Blueberry Chiffon Pie)

Having lived in an arid desert for most of my life, a fresh and ripened berry is a gem to me. I wish I could say that I have fond memories of plucking berries straight from the bush, but I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating a berry so fresh. When I do stumble across a carton of beautiful berries, it’s exhilarating. The most abundant berries here are typically strawberries. Most of the time I can’t keep my hands off the strawberries, savoring each sweet, juicy gem as is. Other times I’ll dress it up with a drizzle of honey or melted chocolate, sometimes I’ll throw a handful in my yogurt, cereal, or waffles. When I’ve managed to save enough strawberries to use in a recipe I like to encase them in some sort of crust. Crisps, cobblers, and crostata are all fine with me. (Recipe: Strawberry Chocolate Galette)

What do berries mean to you? Are there any that shine above the rest? We would love to hear your ode to a favourite berry, and of course see how you style them in our flickr group!

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July 28, 2011 | Print This Post | Share & Bookmark | Font Size: a A | 8 Comments | Leave a Comment

  • a spoonful of yumm
    July 28th, 2011

    what a berrylicious post ! love it :-) the pictures are beautiful

  • Chels R.
    July 28th, 2011

    Thanks for posting this cute little post. I adore berry season and recipes that go along with them :)

  • Russell van Kraayenburg
    July 28th, 2011

    Berries are the reason I love summer–ok and the beautiful weather. They are a reward for waiting through a nearly-unbarable, berry-less series of cold months. It is hard to pick a favorite and I usually can only do so when talking about a particular application (in cake/muffins it’s blueberries, in pie it’s strawberries, on their own, dewberries or blackberries and with chocolate or on a tart I love raspberries).

    I managed to visit three of y’all’s berry recipes before stopping in here (the ice creams & sorbet) and they have all looked incredible and perfectly summery. I can’t wait to check out the other two. Y’all are all such talented photographers too. I just want to lick all those photos. tmi?

  • Lexi
    July 28th, 2011

    You’re right, berries really are the taste of summer. I find that through out winter I crave raspberries. Beautiful post, you guys are so inspiring!

  • J.B.
    July 29th, 2011

    Lovely berries, lovely photos, but has anyone ever tasted or used HUCKLEBERRIES?

  • Avocadorable
    August 7th, 2011

    What a beautiful post. Amazing photos and beautifully written. I am a big fan of your blog!

  • Jeff @
    August 8th, 2011

    I love food styling photography. It’s taking my love for food on a whole new artistic level. These photos are great. Excellent focus on the berries.

  • Jayne
    August 24th, 2011

    Where I live, berries = Expensive. I don’t live in a country that churns out it’s own berries. Strawberries yes maybe but it’s not an exaggeration to say I’ve never tasted a sweet strawberry in my life. But I splurge. I will buy them even at their prices cos I love me some. So far I’ve gotten blueberries, strawberries and cherries imported from the US. I can’t bring myself to get blackberries and raspberries yet cos they cost a bomb. A small carton (150-200gms) cost the same as 2-3 pieces of good imported NZ steak. I haven’t come to the stage where I’d pay so much for berries yet. Maybe some day.

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