You have to battle thorns, ticks, mosquitoes, snakes, and poison ivy in order to fill your poke with these delectable wild black berries.
But it's totally worth it.
Blackberries are more than just a sweet bite of heaven. They are very healthful. The tiny seeds are packed with antioxidants. I feel younger every time I eat them! Oftentimes the terms "blackberry" and "black raspberry" are used interchangeably. But actually they are two different kinds of berry. Of course they are both delicious. And they are both healthy. And they can be easily substituted for one another in most recipes. But if you want to know which kind of berry you are gathering, there are a couple of ways to tell the two apart. One way is by looking at the stem of the plant. Blackberry stems have vertical grooves on them.
Another difference is that when you pick a black raspberry the nubby white core of the berry is left on the plant. And there is a hollow spot in the middle of your berry. Picked blackberries don't have a hollow middle. Immature blackberries start out green and then turn bright red before they ripen into a juicy purplish black berry.
I have heard that there are possibly hundreds of different varieties of blackberries. Some grow upright. Some grow low along the ground.
Smart people grow blackberries in their garden or around their home and keep it neat and weeded. I am obviously not one of those people... I would not have to be a detective to know what kind of berry I was picking if I had planted them myself! Instead, I plod through thorny ticky brambly brush in the fence rows of a pasture to get mine.
If I was smart I would not have a poison ivy rash.
Please excuse me now. I have to go douse myself in calamine lotion.