Snozzberry? Who ever heard of a snozzberry?

A quick trip down to Columbia City farmer’s market yesterday means I am loaded up with berries (and some other goodies, like some local apricots, mini globe courgettes, and a gorgeous bunch of sweet peas). I got a mixed 1/2 flat, which came with six different kinds of berries, including a berry that was new to me, the Tayberry. I had to pop online to look up this new fruit, because unlike courgettes which was simply a new name for a known veg (zucchini), I had really never tried a Tayberry before.

And then I learned a strange fact. If you think something is a berry, it’s probably not, in the true botanical definition. A berry is supposed to be a thin-skinned fleshy fruit which is entirely edible and contains seeds. Things like grapes, tomatoes, and persimmons. And so while blueberries and gooseberries are botanical berries, most other common berries like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and these new-to-me tayberries are, in fact, not. I’m glad I’m a foodgeek rather than a botanist. I’m going to keep calling the small, sweet, juicy fruits berries.

Anyway, back to the Tayberry. On first glance, I’d pass them over as under-ripe blackberries. Slightly reddish purple, these plump dewberries are basically a cross between raspberries and blackberries… along the same lines as a Boysenberry or a Loganberry. They have a little extra kick… almost like that of a currant (a true berry!) muddled in with a creamy sweetness. Tayberries aren’t too overly sweet, and keep their tartness even when quite ripe. Just right for a beautiful deep magenta sherbet.

If you can’t get Tayberries in your area, you can always substitute half blackberries and half raspberries for a very similar color and flavor.

Tayberry Sherbet
1/2 pint Tayberries
1 t lemon juice
1 T honey
1/2 cup whole milk
After carefully washing the berries, removing any stems, heat over medium in a heavy bottomed pot with the lemon juice and honey until the berries break down, about 5 minutes. Push the berry mixture through a sieve into a bowl to remove any seeds. Then, stir in the milk until well combined (note: if you want a creamier sherbet, you can use a bit more milk or a touch of cream).

Pour into an Ice Cream Maker, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

PS: This sherbet is really yummy smeared between two chocolate cookies…

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  • http://www.beaskitchen.com/blog/ Bea at La Tartine Gourmande

    Nice, the recipe is here! ;-) Had never heard about this English name for a berry before. Wonder what this is in French. Berries are such hard names to translate. By the way, speaking of wich, you wrote “coregettes”. Do you mean “courgettes”? Since zucchini, in French, is “courgette” (and in British English). If so, the round ones are my favorites! Lucky you! I have been calling around here for weeks now to find them! I am curious to see what you will do with them. I have the ideas, just not the vegetables! ;-(

  • http://www.travelerslunchbox.com Melissa

    Gorgeous – the berries, the sherbet, and the photos! Incidentally, did you read that tayberries are from Scotland? Named, perhaps unsurprisingly, for the area they were developed around the river Tay. Seems you get them a bit earlier than we do here, but at least I have a head-start on ideas ;)

  • http://www.cookandeat.com/ L

    Thanks Bea! And, yes, you caught my typo! It should have been courgettes! (but now it’s fixed…) I had been flipping through Olive magazine and kept reading references to this strange courgette vegetable I had never heard of, only to find it was just a zucchini! Unfortuntely, I’m not doing anything with those I just bought though… I’m out of town for the week, and despite a mad amount of cooking this weekend, those didn’t make it in. I’ve given them to my neighbor instead… but, I’ll be getting more when I get back.

    Melissa – Thanks! Ah, I did read that they were Scottish, but hadn’t seen the part about the river. That certainly makes sense!

  • http://ilovemilkandcookies.blogspot.com jenjen

    I have also just found out about Tayberries at the Farmer’s Market not too long ago. The ‘strawberry lady’ at the markets started selling Tayberry pies, I sampled one, and they were quite good, more tart, as you mentioned.
    Your sorbet looks yummy, and as always the photos are stunning.

  • http://www.posiesplace.net Pamela

    I’ve never heard of Tayberries before, they sound really delicious!!

    Wonderful photos!! They always make me want to lick the screen (doesn’t everyone?? no? Oh,.. just me then…)

    LOL
    :-)

  • http://greedygoose.blogspot.com eggy

    Every day we learn something new. Looks gorgeous!

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  • http://maegabriel.com/riceandnoodles mae

    I have probably seen one of these [even eaten] and not know what they’re called :) They are all berries to me. Thanks for the reference. Now i can go out and pick some and look here for comparison for their names.

    The sherbet looks delicious. Stunning photos, L!

  • http://www.cookandeat.com/ L

    Jen – Thanks! I can’t wait to see what other discoveries I’m going to have at the market this year…

    Pamela – I hope it’s not just you! :-) Thanks!

    Eggy – Thanks!

    Mae – I have to say that I’m not sure I could tell the difference between taeberries, boysenberries and the like in the field… But, that’s ok, because they are all delicous!