.Rubus fruticosus , a member of the rose family and also known as a blackberry.
The blacker the berry the sweeter the juice AND the duller the berry the sweeter the flavor.Actually, the blacker the drupe the sweeter the drupe. Each berry is a drupe, an aggregate fruit composed of multiple drupelets with an endocarp, like with a peach, cherry or coconut, and then a seed. Just look at a dried blackberry and you will find a tiny hardened endocarp with a seed inside.
Bright and shiny is great for metals but for fruits, especially berries, a duller tint may offer a milder and sweeter flavor.
Despite their nutritional punch, blackberries don't receive the spotlight that they deserve. Native to Asia , Europe, North and South America, blackberries have been part of the culinary and medicinal history of many cultures. The roots and leaves have been used for their astringent properties and as a tonic. Naturally high in pectin, blackberries are a great fruit for making jelly , preserves or jams.
Growing patterns vary -trailing, erect, semi erect- with thorns and thornless,, and in the US grow well in USDA plant hardiness zones 4-9 where the summers are hot. For me, one my earliest food memories is eating a homemade blackberry cobbler made from wild blackberries. Blackberry cobbler is still one of my favorite desserts with its mix of sweet , tart flavors a crunchy crust and homemade ice cream on the side.
In addition to the brilliant color, and taste, blackberries are a great source of Vitamins C and K, soluble and insoluble fiber and the antioxidants ,anthocyanin, which gives them a rich and vibrant color , lutein, zeaxanthin and betacarotene .
Someone in my home loves cucumbers. Once they are washed, the spines brushed away, sliced and splashed with the special house dressing, we can forget about leftovers.
Until now. Welcome Suyo Long cucumbers to the dinner table. A long cucumber that helps fill up a teenage boys stomach for at least a couple of hours. It really is a wonderful vegetable for a snack.
Even though cucumbers are a summer crop in this area, the heat brings out the bitterness in the flavor due to the presence of cucurbitacin- a triterpene compound that gives cucumbers its distinctive flavor and protects it from herbivores. Too much cucurbutacin causes a bitter taste and resulting nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps . After tasting an English, Persian and lemon cucumber, I found an heirloom variety with a unique shape, length , crispy texture and thin skin.
Suyo Long is a parthenocarpic (small seeds) cucumber variety, native to China that thrives in the heat can produce cucumbers as long as 16 inches. The shape varies - straight vs S shaped-depending on the use of a trellis.
Cucumbers are frequently used to flavor water with lime and other flavors but you miss out of some important nutrients.
Vitamin K, beta carotene, lignans. Fisetin, a flavonoid, is one antioxidant found in cucumbers currently studied for its anti-aging, anti inflammatory, chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic properties- in a lab setting. It's a vegetable not a magic pill. As part of a well balanced diet filled with a rainbow of fruit and vegetables, cucumbers definitely deserve a place at the table and in so many cuisines are key ingredients..
Eat The Peel. Suyo Long has a thinner skin than the traditional cucumber found in supermarkets but still contains a substantial amount of insoluble fiber that adds bulk to your intestinal tract which benefit your gut microbiome. As with most vegetables and fruit high in fiber, cucumbers may play a role in the prevention and management of Type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Even the seeds contain flavonoids(plant pigments) , carotenoids, calcium, manganese, iron and zinc.
Wash thoroughly. Eat within 24- 48 hours of harvesting to preserve crispness or cut into 6 in pieces and refrigerate in water.
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