Mulberries are a deep, purple-black color when they ripen. Small and firm looking — not unlike blackberries — but they are far more pulpous.
Last night, we picked mulberries off the backyard tree branches. It’s a bit hard, since they drop so easily. You have to keep a close eye. One pinkie tap of a berry, and it’s gone. You need two hands, one to pluck the mulberry and one to catch it.
Mulberries crush easily, which is why you don’t see them in grocery stores. They don’t transport easily and wouldn’t enjoy being squished up in clamshells.
Some say mulberries are too delicate. To pick mulberries is to have hands dripping in sticky, plum-purple syrup.
But I don’t agree: Mulberries are juicy, delicious, and excellent travelers. When they reach peak ripeness, they don’t wait on you to pluck them. They plummet, gracefully, to the ground. Which is a more poetic way to go than being ripped off a thorny hedge.
And mulberries make an excellent dye, as evidenced by our plummy mouths and toes and fingertips.
I love this picture.
Mulberry stains are true love.