As the weather gets hotter and hotter, the nightshades in our garden are getting really happy. One of my new experiments this year was with chichiquelite huckleberries. The plants in my old potato box are thriving! They’re each about three feet tall and peppered with clusters of berries. Some of the first to show are now ripening, and I think in a few weeks, I’ll have quite a haul. I’ve also got one plant in the cucumber/pepper/eggplant bed, and one in the community garden, both of which are quite a bit smaller. The berries grow in clusters of 6 or seven, and each cluster ripens more or less at the same time. The berries change from green to a deep, lustrous black when they’re ripe.
I tasted the first few berries to see if they were ripe. They certainly are – they’re very sweet but have a bit of an odd taste. It’s a bit of a disappointment – but they still might be good cooked into a jam or pie or syrup. The flavor isn’t exactly bad – it’s just really…different. Almost like a sweet green bean if that make sense. Once I try cooking these, I’ll make a judgement as to whether I’ll try them again next year or give over the space to even more ground cherries (which I really love.)