After spending some unintended time away from the blogging world, I am happy to return in time to discuss the spoils of summer.

This beautiful medley of berries was purchased at Manhattan’s New Amsterdam Market and enjoyed while walking over the Brooklyn Bridge. The taste of store bought, imported berries simply doesn’t compare to that of local, handpicked ones. Savor each little jewel, since they aren’t in season for long. A primer on quasi-unusual berries is below.

Gooseberries: Oh man. Gooseberries. Silly looking and slightly furry, gooseberries are round and striated, and the size of a small grape. They can be eaten early in he season when the green, but get sweeter as they darken to purple. These very tart berries are excellent for cooking.

Wineberries: Native to Asia, wineberries were introduced domestically to hybridize with domestic species but escaped cultivation. They are now naturalized in the Eastern US and taste like a tarter version of raspberries.

Currants: Closely related to gooseberries and available in black and red varieties, these tiny berries pack a punch and are like nature’s version of a sour patch kid. A truly unique flavor.

Mulberries: These delicate berries are not widely available, due to their fragility. However, you’re in for a treat if you’re lucky enough to have access to them. Resembling a raspberry, these berries are soft and sweet and plentiful during early summer.