In Season - persian mulberries

by Russ Parsons
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From the Los Angeles Times 

40347037.jpg Quite frankly, persian mulberries often don't look like a fruit so sought-after that farmers have to hide them behind the counter. They can be fairly small, like malnourished raspberries, and so fragile that they frequently look a little dinged up from being picked. But Persian mulberries have an intoxicating effect on some people. A friend tasting her first one clapped her hand to her mouth and exclaimed, "This tastes like my grandfather's garden!"

Because they're so sought-after, more farmers are planting them, and some farmers who grew them before are expanding their orchards. They're certainly not yet commonplace (or cheap!), but at farmers markets you are starting to see them out on the table, instead of hidden away for the select few. If you've never had one, a Persian mulberry is intensely sweet, but with a nice, balancing acidity. The flavor is almost wine-like in its complexity. They're so good that I think it's a waste to cook them: Serve them in shortcake, on a biscuit with whipped cream, or freeze them into ice cream. 

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