Tuesday, September 21, 2010
The first berries we found were along a creek on some species of Ribes. They had thorns on the stems so they would fall under the common name gooseberry I think. Not sure which one specifically since our book just said there were various species of Ribes scattered throughout the Sierras. It had small red berries. Near the creek, they were a little mealy and not so sweet, but higher up they had a pleasant tartness balanced with a little sweetness.
In the same area we found twinberries. Beautiful, plump glossy berries looking like conjoined twins. My recent favorite book Flavors of Home describes them as officially edible, but not good to eat, at least here in California. Further north in Oregon, they are supposedly prized and considered tasty, here in California no mention is made. I now understand why. I tried one, just to see, even after my friend said they weren't worth it. It had a pretty foul taste. So foul we had to go back and eat some more Ribes berries to get the taste out of our mouth. Ah well.
On the last day, on our way home, we stopped for another short hike. We walked through the woods, it was quite beautiful, but then we found some thimbleberries. I had heard they were really good, but had never found them ripe. They are really good. They are kind of like a small fragile raspberry in the shape of a thimble (hence their name). They have a very nice, but complex flavor. Very good.
Evidently someone agreed.