I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon a mulberry bush in my sister’s backyard a few weeks ago. I still remember the first time I tasted mulberries, as a young pastry cook working at Spago in Beverly Hills. I couldn’t believe how sweet, fragrant, and delicious the berries were.
Spago’s Pastry Chef Sherry Yard would travel to the Santa Monica farmer’s market every Wednesday to purchase mulberries from women who would sort through boxes, pulling out only the darkest berries for her. Back at the restaurant, the pastry cooks would go through the berries again, carefully looking for the deepest hue, a sign of rich flavor. We’d weigh these precious berries into two-ounce portions for Spago’s dessert special, served with a side of whipped crème fraîche and sold for $20! The leftover berries would garnish fruit plates, and get tossed into crumbles and folded into ice creams, but I always managed to sneak a few for myself.
For the first time, I foraged my own mulberries last weekend. Picking the juicy berries from the bush, I was reminded of the many desserts I’ve used them in over the years, and inspired with a slew of new ideas. I’ll share a delicious Mulberry-Chamomile Cooler this Monday. And Mulberry Sorbet will make an appearance at the Drury Lane dessert pop-up Miss Katzie and I are hosting next month, a nod to our Spago days. (More on that to come!) How are you inspired by mulberries this weekend?