The most important etiquette rules on how to serve and eat blackberries. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.
What blackberry etiquette is
Blackberry etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat blackberries. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.
If you are hosting, follow blackberries etiquette to serve them to your guests appropriately.
If you are a guest, respect blackberries etiquette rules to properly eat and enjoy them.
What you should know about blackberries
Blackberries are small bunch-shaped berries. They grow wild throughout most of Europe and the Americas. Mexico is the main grower of commercial varieties.
Blackberries are black in color with purple and violet nuances. Their taste is mostly sweet. The texture is soft.
Etiquette tips to serve and eat blackberries
1) How to store blackberries
Store blackberries in the fridge. Keep them in their original packaging or place them in a sealed container. They can last for 2 to 3 days.
In the freezer, blackberries can last for up to 9 months.
Keep blackberries at room temperature only if you are going to eat them on the same day.
2) How to clean blackberries
Some growers use pesticides or similar products to protect their plants. Thus, you should wash blackberries thoroughly.
Apply extra care, as blackberries are delicate fruits. Place them in a bowl with fresh water. Keep them there for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, rinse them under slow running water. You can let them dry on a cotton or hemp cloth.
Consume blackberries immediately after washing them.
3) How to cook blackberries
Fresh blackberries are perfect for yogurt and cereals, fruit salads, pancakes, waffles, or crepes. You can add them on top of ice cream. They are a great ingredient for fresh juices, smoothies, or milkshakes.
You can use blackberries to make purées, sauces, or jams. Bake blackberries in muffins, scones, pies, or crumbles. Or use them to make blackberry wine or liqueur.
4) How to serve & present blackberries
You can serve blackberries for breakfast, a snack, or dessert.
Serve them washed, in a serving bowl. Present them with a serving spoon. You can accompany blackberries with yogurt, mascarpone, or ice cream.
Alternatively, you can serve blackberries in small individual cups. Present them with a dessert spoon.
Serve blackberries slightly chilled or at room temperature. Take them out of the fridge between 10 and 30 minutes before serving.
Ideally, you should remove the torus (stem) before serving blackberries. However, leaving the torus on is not a major etiquette offense.
5) Food and wine to pair blackberries with
Blackberries pair well with dairy products. Yogurt. Mascarpone. Whipped cream. Or milk-based food such as gelato or Kefir. They can go well with some cheeses too.
They are a great topping for crepes, pancakes, or waffles. Their flavor matches well with citrus, cinnamon, mint, and even black pepper.
Blackberries go well with other berries. Such as strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries. You can pair them in fruit salads with apricots, peaches, or plums.
Pair blackberries with sweet wines or sparkling wines. Sweet wines such as Muscat or a sweet Riesling. Sparkling wines such as Champagne, Prosecco, or Cava.
6) How to eat blackberries
Eat blackberries with a dessert spoon or teaspoon. Alternatively, you can use a larger spoon or a fork.
You can discard or eat the torus (stem). If blackberries are served with their torus, it is appropriate to use your fingers. Try to gently remove the stem. Be careful, as blackberries are delicate. Then, eat one blackberry at a time.
If you cannot remove the torus without making a mess, it is preferable to put the whole blackberry in your mouth. Then, try to swallow the torus. If you cannot, use your fingers to remove it from your mouth. Cover your mouth with your other hand. Discard the torus on the side of your plate.
Blackberry etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the worst blackberry etiquette mistakes.
- 8/10. Spitting the torus of the blackberry.
- 8/10. Serving spoiled blackberries.
- 8/10. Serving unwashed blackberries.
- 7/10. Serving unripe blackberries.
- 6/10. Putting more than 2 blackberries in your mouth at a time.
Additional information for properly serving blackberries
How many calories per serving?
Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.
Blackberries contain 43 calories per 100 grams. An individual serving of a cup contains around 62 calories.
How to buy the best blackberries
A crucial factor in blackberry etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.
Season and availability
In the Northern hemisphere, the main season for blackberries is in the summer. Usually between July and August. The season in the southern areas starts in late spring.
Choose the best
Blackberry season ends by mid-October. Thus, you are unlikely to find excellent, fresh fruits after that.
Avoid red blackberries, as they are unripe. Buy them when they look plump and shiny.
Alternatives to blackberries
The best substitutes are other berries, such as blueberries and raspberries.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov