Taste 1,000 Fruits: Lemon Cucumber, Huckleberry

4th October 2011

This is part of my Life List project to Taste 1,000 fruits. I’m inching my way toward 100.

This year, my sister Raina started a little farm in Sonoma County and we visited this weekend. There wasn’t enough room in the fridge for all the veggies she sent home with me, so I’ve been putting up sauces and soups and eating too much salad for the last few days.

That photo up top is a lemon cucumber, one about as big as a man’s fist. It’s pretty, but apparently too old to be delicious. You want ones that are whiter and more the size of an apricot. I’m not generally a fan of cucumbers, but these are so crisp and light, not nearly as dense or tough as the supermarket variety. They taste like slightly savory cucumber water.

My sister planted Huckleberries out of curiosity, having never tried them. They have a similar consistency to blueberries, but they’re juicier, tart, and refreshing.

Raina described them as tasting like cucumbers to her, and these did have that aftertaste. I liked the flavor, but there was a richness to it. I didn’t really want more than one. Does anyone know how to prepare these in a way that makes them more appealing? I bet they’d make amazing jam.

30 thoughts on “Taste 1,000 Fruits: Lemon Cucumber, Huckleberry

  1. Laura

    You bet right. Huckleberry jam is one of my most favourite things in the world.

    Totally worth the hours and hours spent picking berries, getting sunburns and avoiding bears.

  2. kat

    The last two weekends my favorite restaurant served a wild rice pancake with huckleberry compote for breakfast. It was amazing & adding maple syrup on top really played well with the tartness.

  3. Annalise

    I absolutely love huckleberries! Grew up on them at our family cabin in Idaho. We use them much like blueberries- great in pancakes, cobblers, crisps, and pies. Use them all by themselves or combine them with other fruits like peaches and apples. Use a little more sugar than usual, as they are more tart, but that’s it. Delicious!

  4. kate

    I live in Huckleberry country (N. Idaho) and my very favorite way to eat them is in Huckleberry crepes, with sweet cream cheese. TO. DIE. FOR.

    And yes, they make amazing jam, spread on sourdough toast. swoon.

  5. marie

    Oh, man. Not healthy, but huckleberry syrup with lemonade and vodka makes an amazing pink drink. And they are so good that a whole lot of vodka is easily disguised. Dangerous.

  6. Leah

    Huckleberry jam is pretty fabulous – and if you use the right kind of pectin you can do it with very little sugar. And for something a little different with the jam, if you boil one cup of jam with a 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar then use it as a marinade (over night, in the fridge) and as a glaze while grilling/broiling/baking it would be stupendous…

  7. Catfish

    Maybe the huckleberries weren’t great because they were domesticated. Huckleberries that are picked wild are best; domesticated ones aren’t supposed to be much like the wild version.

    They are great in pies, as a cheesecake topping, or as a milkshake.

  8. Lisa B.

    when I was a little girl, we used to go huckleberrying in the mountains in eastern Idaho, and once my grandma made a huckleberry pie for my birthday. it was fantastic.

  9. Kelly H

    I live in Sonoma County – does your sister sell her farm fresh veggies at any of our Farmers Markets?

    Kelly, she did CSA boxes this year, but the season is coming to a close. She’s always been a bird person, so she specializes in organic eggs and is gearing up to sell those at Farmer’s Markets next year. In fact, if anyone in the Bay Area is worried about how badly commercial chickens are treated, my sister is really raising her laying hens almost like pets. They’re treated beautifully. -M

  10. Susan

    Hey, do you remember where you got those kiwiberries? was it in Chinatown somewhere? I’ve wanted some ever since you posted about them, like a year ago. :) Huckleberry pie is amazing!!

    I got them at Bi-Rite. They’re seasonal, but they have them there quite a bit. -M

  11. Cara

    I just made baked oatmeal with huckleberries from the Super Natural Every Day cookbook and it was really good. I love how the berries burst open when they’re warm out of the oven.

  12. Meg

    Let me back up the huckleberry train for a moment.
    The berries in this photo are “garden huckleberries” which are actually related to blacknightshade (although perfectly edible). Most people associated huckleberries with a blueberry relative!

  13. Juan

    Those fruits and vegetables look so vibrant and so full of life. I love the greens and the great amount of light in the photos. Thanks for sharing, I think that you just inspired me to go off and eat something healthy!

  14. Desi

    We have huckleberry jelly in the fridge right now, and the kids love it. Interesting aside: It was made and jarred in Sitka, Alaska. Apparently huckleberries grow there, too!

  15. Cindy

    We got lemon cucumbers in our CSA last year and had to google them. I’d never seen anything like it. They were the best things sliced up on a spinach salad.

  16. Lauren

    I went to a wedding in Montana in july and they made huckleberry frozen margaritas. and also, huckleberry in the cake. and huckleberry pies! PIES! it was pretty special. delish.

  17. Leah

    Huckleberry pancakes are awesome! And I am now guessing you haven’t eaten a lot of esoteric berries. If you want to add a lot of berries to your list, hit up the Oregon Berry Festival next summer. It’s sometime in late July. I stumbled upon it this year and really enjoyed tasting all sorts of different varieties. Marionberries are my favorite.

  18. Nicole

    Huckleberry pie is my favorite–we just finished one off this week! They’re super easy to make too–just sugar, cornstarch, 4 cups of berries, and lemon juice. Oh, and you’ll want to have whipped cream handy for topping :)

  19. Dangercat

    Wild picked I have had. Domestic? Why? They grow wild in such abundance behind the Redwood Curtain, I cannot imagine ever needing to plant them. Anyways, folks around here dry them and eat them like raisins. A popular jam is extra dry berries added to the fresh berry jam immediately before canning. It adds a delightful texture contrast. Domestic? Hmmmmm…

  20. Christa

    I pick huckleberries forever and a day lol. I have them growing wild around my house and neighbors as well as sides of the road, out in what we call the back 40….. When I don’t use them in jam and pies, I freeze them for cobblers, son now wants muffins and I would love to find a really good recipe for the cupcakes and frosting. I am going to try to make some huckleberry fruit leather too :) I also sell them to a local fruit market for so many don’t want to take the time to pick them. I make that my me time…hand pick, hand clean and hand pack em…. Can’t knock that :)

  21. Marisa

    I’ve been reading your site for years, but this is the first time I’ve noticed that we have sisters named Raina in common. How fun!

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