The Essence of Bramble
All about the humble bramble bush & its Summer/Autumn fruits.
In the quintessential image of a summer’s day in the British countryside, you’ll find the humble bramble bush (Rubus Fruticosus). Known for its thorny stems and rugged roots, the native shrub blooms every summer with one of our favourite berries, the blackberry.
Where do bramble bushes come from?
Brambles bushes can be found dotted up and down the UK’s woodlands, hedges and shrubs. They particularly flourish in acidic soil.
The bramble bush will blossom with dainty flowers in the early summer months and their fruits of blackberries will be fully ripe in late July through September depending on where you are.
How brambles react with our senses…
To look at, the bramble bush has quite the rugged exterior. Anyone who has ever tried to uproot a bramble bush will confirm this! The bush itself can tower up to an impressive 2 metres high with stems prickled in spike thorns. In the early summer months, dark green leaves and clusters of tiny white flowers will flourish in preparation for the Summer’s fruits.
Young red berries will ripen into deep purple blackberries which are ready to pick and eat in July through September. Blackberries are similar to raspberries in taste. At perfect ripeness and with healthy water during the summer they will boast a sweet taste but can also have a bitter, sour kick depending when picked.
What flavours compliment blackberries?
The sweet rich taste of blackberries means that they pair well with a lot of different flavours. If you usually top your glass of champagne with a taste of raspberry, why not try blackberry for a deeper berry flavour? Whiskey is also a favourite match for the blackberry taste palette.
Whether it’s in delicious cocktails or home-baked goods, blackberries are often found to be paired with lemon flavouring. The sweetness of the berries and sourness of the citrus makes for a wonderfully mouth-watering taste.
Bramble & blackberries in mythology
In ancient British folklore, it was believed that blackberries should not be picked after Old Michaelmas Day (11th October). This was the day that was said to be when the Devil fell from heaven landing on a bramble bush ripe with blackberries and cursing the fruit as he fell.
It wasn’t uncommon either for bramble bushes to be planted around graves. Their spiky exterior was used to protect from unwanted animals grazing. As well as the old superstition of blackberries being able to stop the spirits of the dead from rising out.