Thursday, September 3, 2009

Berry Delicious...

Glacier Park was a favorite spot for numerous reasons, one of which was our introduction to the huckleberry. This highly sought-after northwestern fruit is a cousin to the blueberry, but it is smaller and more purple in color with a taste that is a little more tart (I likened it to a black raspberry). They only grow in higher elevations, so are found in abundance in the Rockies. Indeed, along most of our hikes we spotted huckleberries, a few remaining red raspberries and an abundance of serviceberries. The native Americans used serviceberries mixed with dried meat to form pemmican. Because our campsite was in a grove of serviceberry bushes, I couldn't resist the chance to try them. So one morning I picked a pint and made Serviceberry smoothies. They were pretty in color, but the taste is a little "greener" than a blueberry and definitely seedier. I decided to leave the rest of the berrries to the bears and that was definitely the case as we saw evidence one morning that one had visited our bushes! Bears also favor huckleberries and it may be because of this or the fact that you have to climb mountains to get them...whatever the reason, they are expensive--About $11 a quart. After sampling the delicious huckleberry struedel and ice cream at one of the lodges, we decided we wanted our own berries. We found some fresh picked in a small town near the park and I made fresh huckleberry pancakes. (I think David thought he had 'died and gone to heaven')We have since found berries here and there and I'm keeping a stash in my freezer when we have a craving for this northwestern delicacy.

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