Common or black mulberries are the fruit of a small spreading tree. Superficially, black mulberries look like an elongated dark raspberry. They have an intense sweet-sour taste, similar to a blackberry.
Mulberries are only found home-grown in gardens as they are too delicate to sell. They’re ripe when they fall to the ground: spread a cloth to collect them. Slightly unripe mulberries picked from the tree make excellent preserves.
Use as soon as possible after gathering, but beware - they will stain everything purple.
Ripe mulberries are very fragile, but must be washed if they’re gathered from the ground. Gently place in a colander, dip into cold water several times and set aside to drain. Mulberries work well as a substitute to blackberries and raspberries in recipes. They make excellent ices, fools and summer puddings, as well as jellies and jams. Best of all, eat them raw with sugar and cream.