Friday, 15 October 2010

Blackberries and The Devil

I've made jam, cobblers, smoothies and even chocolate and blackberry muffins from the pickings on Long Road in the past few weeks. But it is too late to eat blackberries straight from the hedgerows now, apparently - even F knows that - and tells me in no uncertain terms today as I flout the Old Wives Tales and pick a few to munch on the way home.

The saying is that the Devil was kicked out of heaven on October 11th. He landed on a blackberry bush. It must have hurt as each year he takes his revenge by spoiling blackberries after the 11th. Some say he spits on them, others that he pees on them.

Other sources I have found claim:

Your last chance to pick your blackberries is Michaelmas (29th September), by legend, the day the Devil spits on them, making them inedible more of the devil having a bad day. The berries I picked today certainly didn't look too devilish and tasted good. I tend to leave the ones where the berries have puffed up and become bulbous or shrivelled. After a  futher bit of looking I found a possible explaination to the legend:

The mould that will settle on them this late in the year is the grey botrytis cinerea mould.

yuk. I guess we are eating blackberries so late in the season this year simply because they have not gone mouldy, perhaps this could have something to do with the warm October weather.


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