WHAT IS A BARBERRY?
These sub-tropical evergreen shrubs are filled with edible fruits and leaves. It’s the fruit in particular that’s popular in various Asian dishes. Sour in taste with a bright red color, they’re also called Berberis or Zereshk. Their tart flavor makes the berries a popular base for preserves. In Persian recipes the barberry is often served in basmati rice with saffron along with orange peel, almonds and other spices. Ironically in North America this is an invasive plant that are one of the very few things deer don’t eat. And this is despite the fact that the berries stay on stem for much longer then most fruits.
WHY ARE BARBERRIES GOOD FOR YOU?
Besides being high in nutrients and vitamin C, this fruit also helps with digestion. The compound berberine is rumored to have anti-carcinogenic properties but there isn’t much medical data to support these claims. Barberry has been used for thousands of years as a homeopathic remedy for gastrointestinal issues.
WHEN ARE BARBERRIES IN SEASON?
This is a summer crop that is usually ready for harvest right before fall starts.
HOW SHOULD BARBERRIES BE STORED?
They are almost never eaten raw and are instead processed in other food applications. When fresh they’ll keep at room temperature for a few days. However in most cases, even when dried, freezing the fruit in an airtight container is your best option.
DO BARBERRIES SPREAD LIME DISEASE?
The answers seems to be an inadvertent yes. By “eliminating stands of Japanese barberry .. forested areas can reduce the number of Lyme disease-infected ticks on the property by 80%.” The barberry is an invasive species commonly sold in retail nurseries. That means that this plant will spread very quickly by “displacing” (a polite way of saying killing, if you don’t agree tell your spouse you’re thinking of having them “displaced” and see how they react) native shrubs and trees.