hearthstrung

beach access discovery

The day.

I suppose we’ll take a walk.

We live on a small side-street, a steep slope on a cliff over the beach.

Our beach access is a long series of staircases. We are used to the blackberries that grow in towering canes, barely held back by use and frequent shearing. We pick them in August, leaning as far as we can over the railing into the tangle of thorns, dark, prehistoric almost. Blackberry picking is a strong memory of this place, the musk of the ripe fruit, dry brown prickles on the tongue, the heady smell of wild yeast and the brink of alcohol ferment.

But it is not blackberry season, and that is not what we find. It is June; we expect nothing yet. But we stumble upon what look like golden blackberries – apricot, yellow-orange, and sometimes blushed vermilion.

First we see two or three. Then, deeper, five and eight and ten. We pick what we can carry.

At first, we have no idea what it is. But it is fragrant and beautiful so we eat one.

Back at home, with a bit of wiki-searching, Lisa finds our fruit: the salmonberry, native to the Northwest.

It has a delicate flavour, lightly tart with a pleasing roundness and hints of that same, ripe berry musk. An early summer version of the late-summer blackberry thing.  And a little bit of stone fruit in there somewhere too.

One of many beautiful summer surprises.

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This entry was published on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 9:41 pm. It’s filed under adventures, food, general and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “beach access discovery

  1. I remember meeting these prettily colored berries at some point in my life – but when, I don’t remember. Unfortunately. Have you ever met the Arbousier? I have (and wrote about it here http://anneauchocolat.dk/?p=3726) and I fell in love with it.

  2. No!! But they look amazing. Like jewelry. And what a great name – ‘tree strawberry’ haha 😉 what does it taste like?

  3. Strawberry Tree… I love that name too! They are quite amazing yes. I met them at Tain l’Hermitage in France, when I visited Valrhona last November and then again in my parents’ garden in Spain in December (I never noticed them earlier).. they are fresh and sweet and resembles new apricots in their taste.
    Would you use them for dessert or savory dishes?

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