The Other Berry

Succulent mulberries are hard to find--but worth it

Foraging for mulberries in the backyard is a summer rite of passage for many around the country. Most Angelenos, however, can only find the plump berries at the farmers' markets for a few short weeks each year. That time is now.

SoCal farmers originally planted mulberries to ward off birds from other crops, but they soon realized people love them–and will pay upward of $25 a pound. The berries are similar to blackberries (but better) and highly perishable: Use immediately or freeze for later.

Because they're so delicious on their own, the best way to serve mulberries is straight up with a simple garnish. "They're earthy and sweet, but not too sweet," says Huckleberry's Zoe Nathan. At the café, she tops mulberries with a blend of whipped cream and crème fraîche (pictured, $9.50), or bakes them in a tart with fresh figs and toasted almonds.

At Ford's Filling Station, Ben Ford likes the delicate fruit with mascarpone ice cream, and Spago's Sherry Yard serves individual, buttery upside-down mulberry cakes with a side of buttermilk gelato.

Mulberries are rarely sold in grocery stores, but you can find them at Tenerelli Orchards, Weiser Family Farms and Circle C Ranch at the Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Hollywood farmers' markets this month.