Noma Chef René Redzepi Is Seriously In Love With Wild Berries

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If you had wild blackberries growing near you, would you still head over to the grocery store to buy a handful packaged in a plastic container when you are making your next homemade blackberry cobbler? If your answer is yes, don't expect to rub elbows with famed Chef René Redzepi of the renowned Noma restaurant in Copenhagen. In an interview with Epicurious, Redzepi shared his love of foraging for wild berries, which began during his youth in Macedonia. 

The chef said, "Sometimes I would find a blackberry bush and would stand there literally for hours, just eating the wild berries." That love affair for this seasonal fruit didn't end, and he passed it along to his own children. Redzepi explained, "I still have that in me. I can eat berries for hours at a rate that's insane. I really go crazy and my two kids are like that too — I love that. When they see good berries they pick them like it's exercise."

Educate yourself

Chef Lars Williams, Rezepi's Head of Research and Development at Noma's Nordic Food Lab, says they continue to feed their owner's love for this fruit, stating, "When blackberries are in season in Copenhagen, we [the restaurant's chefs and foragers] always bring back an extra stash, just for him." If this sounds like the pastoral return to living off the land your taste buds have been craving, there are a couple of things you need to know before looking for wild blackberries of your own.

The first thing you need to be able to do before your berry adventure begins is educate yourself. You need to be able to identify whether the berries you are coveting are indeed edible wild blackberries. Consider investing in a book like "The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants, Mushrooms, Fruits, and Nuts: Finding, Identifying, and Cooking" to learn about the attributes of both poisonous and non-poisonous wild blackberries. This will include information about their leaves, color, and how the fruit clusters, among many other characteristics. Additionally, always look for berries that are plump and fresh. While eating them straight from the bush sounds like a luxurious dream, you may want to pick your wild blackberries and wash them before consuming them.