Salmonberries are juicy nuggets that are referred to as the berries of summer. The color of salmonberries ranges from yellow to orange to red. They also go by the name Alaskan berries and are close cousins with raspberries and blackberries.
If you haven’t heard of these beauties, you might mistake them for salmon eggs or berries mixed with salmon. But, salmonberries are a kind of berry on their own. They grow on large bushes and share a physical resemblance to the raspberry but taste nothing like any other berry out there.
What do salmonberries taste like? The flavor of salmonberries can be described as tart. It is even more tart than raspberries and blackberries. They have a subtle flavor that is accompanied by a mild sweetness. The taste is better compared to rhubarb. Salmonberries have a high moisture content so they cannot be dried.
In recipes that require the use of blackberries or blueberries, salmonberries can serve as a substitute. They are a subspecies of the rose plant and they can be used in various capabilities.
Nutritional Benefits of Salmonberries
Salmonberries have a lot of medicinal properties and nutritional value. They are very rich in micronutrients. A 3.5 ounce serving of salmonberries contains vitamin A, C, E, and K with each vitamin no less than 10 percent of the reference daily intake (RDI). It also contains minerals like iron, magnesium, folate, niacin, sodium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, protein, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, and a negligent amount of fat.
Salmonberries are the fruits that are right for proper digestive function. Salmonberries are high in manganese, and this makes them the right fruit that helps to aid metabolism. They also contain antioxidants that neutralize the effect that free radicals have on cells in the body. These antioxidants are also responsible for helping the body absorb vitamins.
The plant that bears salmonberries also has medicinal properties that could do you some good. The leaves can be chewed, to help take care of diarrhea and stomach upset.
Salmonberries have a good stock of vitamin A so they can help to promote good vision and in conjunction with anti-aging benefits. The inclusion of salmonberries in your diet can help to protect the eyes from age-related conditions like glaucoma, astigmatism, macular degeneration, and cataracts.
Salmonberries could also help the skin maintain the appropriate moisture content and keep the wrinkles away. The vitamin E in salmonberries benefits our skin cells and keeps them rosy and shiny. Salmonberries also contain Vitamin C which can act as a booster for our immune system. Salmonberries can keep our immune system in tip-top shape and help avoid everyday illnesses.
Salmonberries can be made into a concoction that can be used to ease the pain of childbirth in laboring women. The practice has been among the Eskimo people, they make the concoction by boiling the bark in seawater and then giving it to the woman orally. Salmonberries can be made into some kind of poultice that can be used to treat burn injuries. It can also regulate blood pressure and blood sugar level.
Culinary Uses of Salmonberries
You can eat salmonberries raw, it seems even bears have a liking for them. The seeds in salmonberries are edible, so you can pop the whole fruit in your mouth and crunch away.
Many people don’t like the seeds from the salmonberry so they prefer to make the berries into jams or jellies. After picking the berry, all you need to do is to wash it in clean water, to take care of all the dirt, debris, and bits that might be stuck to it. Doing this also gets rid of the bugs.
Asides from jam and jellies, salmonberries can be worked into the batter for baked goods and enjoyed. Although to use salmonberries in this manner, you need to turn them into syrup. In dishes like pies, muffins, crumbles, or tarts, salmonberries will make a very fine addition.
Finding recipes where salmonberries are the focus of the dish could be a chore. If you do not mind experimenting, you could use salmonberries as a substitute for other berries in recipes and see the difference. But, you have to take note that the tartness of the salmonberry is unlike any other berry out there.
Where are Salmonberries Grown? and How to Procure Them?
Salmonberries are native to the west coast of North America. From Alaska down to California, and even as far inland as Idaho salmonberries are left to grow in the wild. The fruit is not strange to the native American people and early explorers who used to eat this berry.
A double-flowered clone of salmonberries has been found in Washington and British Columbia. For the most part, salmonberries have not been cultivated and are just left to grow in the wild.
If you happen to live in any of these regions where salmonberries grow, procuring it shouldn’t be too hard. All you need is some basket or bowl with which you can carry your pickings and a spot where you can pick them. If you can’t do that, you will find salmonberries starting from April when they are in season in farmers’ markets.
If you do not stay close to where salmonberries grow, it could be hard to get hold of the fresh fruit. You could look for jams or jellies that have been made with salmonberries. You should find them in the condiments sections or aisles of many grocery or departmental stores.
Why are Salmonberries Called Salmonberries?
The name salmonberries are thought to have come from the locals that enjoyed eating these berries with salmon roe. But, one cannot be so sure. Another theory is that it is called salmonberries because its color is similar to the flesh of the salmon fish.
Facts You Don’t Know About Salmonberries
- The scientific name for salmon berry is Rubus spectabilis. It is a species of brambles from the rose family.
- Although salmonberries cannot be dried because of their moisture content, they can be stored in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. In the freezer, they can stay edible for up to 2 years.