August 20, 2014

Les mûres derrière le mur sont mûres!

Mûre is blackberry. Mur is wall. Mûre is ripe. Confusing? Yes. But, in this case, delicious. Late summer in Côte d'Or is the time to pick and eat a ton of blackberries. They are EVERYWHERE. Ubiquitous. Omnipresent. Pervasive. And best of all? They are FREE. 

Some for today, some for tomorrow

Just walk down any road where there are Charolais cattle (read: every road) and you will find blackberries in the hedges that the French farmers use instead of fences. I learned from one of my friends here that any land that is not marked "privé" is land you can go on. His only cautions were: 1. If you open a cattle gate, close it. 2. If you see a bull with balls hanging down between his legs, avoid that field. And 3. Try to avoid mothers with their calves, as they can get testy. So you don't really even need a road, and since the farmers here roate the cows frequently, it is easy to find a spot with an open gate (no bulls!) to go check out for you haul. 

Charolais cattle in front of a hedge

We went up the road half a mile to a dead-end dirt path to let the boys run wild while we picked. There are definitely a lot of prickers and some plants that sting if you touch them, but the payoff is worth it. Blackberries on cereal, on French toast (which these people, of course, only eat for dessert), in yogurt, in pies, as a snack, and, when you have little ones, as a bribe to try -- for God's sake just to TRY -- the carrot soup.

Best part about blackberry picking

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