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Youngberries are a bramble fruit that resemble common blackberries but on a smaller scale. They have a solid core surrounded by fleshy drupes that are extremely fragile and larger than those of other blackberries. They are spherical to oblong with a tapering conical shape and turn a deep purplish-black when ripe. Youngberries are sweeter and more succulent than other blackberry varieties with a delicate texture bursting with juiciness.
Youngberries are available in the summer months.
The Youngberry is a variety of blackberry that is botanically classified as Rubus caesius. It is a hybrid that resulted from the cross of a specific blackberry variety called “Phenomenal” (a Blackberry-Raspberry cross) and a Mayes Dewberry. They are especially prized by berry growers because they typically ripen up to 2 weeks earlier than most other blackberry varieties.
Like other blackberry varieties, Youngberries are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. They are a good source of vitamins A, C, and B1, as well as calcium and cellulose.
Youngberries can be used similarly to other blackberry varieties and are especially valued for less seedy content. They are exceedingly fragile and juicy so care should be taken as they are prone to staining other ingredients in a dish. Their succulent texture easily cooks down for jams, jellies, pie fillings and fruit sauces. They do not hold their shape in baked goods such as muffins or cakes, but make a sweet syrup for drizzling over pancakes or cheesecake.
Youngberries are especially popular in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa because of their proclivity for warmer weather. Small specialty farmers are experimenting with their cultivation in the United States, but their extremely delicate nature presents challenges in handling and shipping.
Youngberries were developed in 1905 by the famous fruit grower, Byrnes M. Young. While working in Morgan city, Louisiana, he encountered numerous failures in breeding another blackberry cultivar, the loganberry. After corroborating with Luther Burbank, who had created the 'Phenomenal' blackberry–raspberry hybrid, he decided to cross it with a dewberry and had immediate success. The Youngberry was born and subsequently introduced to commercial markets in 1926.
Recipes that include Youngberries. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Woolworth's Taste||Wild Youngberry Millefeuille|
|Pick N Eat||Youngberry Cheesecake|