Episode 92: Berries (and Other Fruits That Aren't Technically Berries)

Monday, May 7, 2018
Since they're in season, we decided to talk all about berries. Then we discovered, some of the berries that we thought were berries, aren't technically berries. We talk about strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cranberries. Winter then touched briefly on the berry atropa belladonna, which is from the deadly nightshade family. We then talk about how the Instant Pot is just another cooking method during our Food Fight segment.

Let's taco 'bout it!

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Let's taco 'bout it!

  • Sharon introduced the Eggroll-in-a-Bowl recipe for dinner this week and it was a hit! Here's the recipe she used. This recipe used a shortcut by getting coleslaw mix, but it wasn't available (maybe due to the E.coli breakout in 25 states). By the way, it can be keto-diet friendly if you don't eat it with rice. Sharon didn't eat it with rice, since she's looking forward to getting married this fall (surprise!) and fitting into a wedding dress. They also used coconut aminos, because Sharon is allergic to soy.
  • Winter's sister Jules (aka @girlwiththepassporttattoo) made a Utah Jazz team-inspired pizza cookie (which you can see on the Hungry Squared Instagram page) to cheer on our Utah Jazz in their Western Conference playoff run. By the way, Winter's tired all the time, because she's growing a human who will likely be birthed late summer (surprise!).

  • Fun fact: Some berries are true berries, such as blueberries and cranberries, where there is a single flower and ovary from which the berry appears.
  • Cane berries are actually "composite" or "aggregate" fruit, but we call them berries, such as raspberries and blackberries. These cane berries have multiple ovaries from a single flower, so each drupelet is like a single tiny stone fruit. Strawberries is considered a false fruit, since the seeds are on the outside.
  • Other things that are technically berries because of the botanical definition: bananas, avocados, pumpkins, kiwis, tomatoes, and watermelons. Crazy, huh?
  • Blueberries are true berries and are typically grown on something called a high bush variety. They've only recently been domesticated in the 1920s.
  • When you bake blueberries with alkali ingredients, such as baking soda, because of the anthocyanin pigments, the alkaline environment will change the blueberries color to a greenish hue.
  • Initial inspiration for Velcro came from the entanglements of the hairs on the surface of raspberries.
  • Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are nice and low in calories.

  • According to the USDA, each person eats an average of close to 5 lbs of berries a year.
  • Sharon talked about the largest strawberry shortcake, according to the Guinness World Record, was made in 1999 in Plant City, Florida and was 827 square feet. However, in doing some more research it looks like that was outdone in 2014 in California and more recently in the Philippines. Who knew strawberry shortcake was a thing to get on the record books!
  • Blueberries freeze in just 4 minutes in the freezer.
  • Raspberries come in a variety of colors: red, gold, purple, or black. Did you know that?
  • The loganberry is a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry. A boysenberry is a cross between a raspberry, a blackberry, and a loganberry.

  • Raspberries were symbolic in Christian art. It was a symbol for kindness.
  • In Scotland, there was a special train that went form Scotland to London called the Raspberry Special, which would get loaded up with all the raspberries for the market.
  • Blackberries are relatives to raspberries, but the inner receptacle will come off with the blackberry. With raspberries, the inner receptacle stays on the bush.
  • Luther Burbank was integral in spreading the Himalayan Blackberry in the Puget Sound area of the Pacific Northwest area. Mr. Burbank rubbed shoulders with the likes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. He made such crazy things (didn't take off) such as the tomato-potato hybrid, but other things like the shasta daisy, freestone peaches, and the Burbank Russet potato, used in your local McDonald's today!
  • Cranberries were used by the Native Americans in pemmican. We talk about pemmican in this episode

  • How did cranberries get there name? Likely not from the shape of the flower of the cranberry, which looks like a crane, but rather from the Germanic language origins.
  • Ocean Spray was started when attorney Marcus Urann purchased a cranberry bog and decided to can cranberries in a jelly form.
  • The Sweetie variety of cranberry was bred to be sweeter, not requiring added sugar.
  • Atropa belladonna is a plant and berry, part of the deadly nightshade family. It has been used for cosmetic applications, medicine, and for deadly reasons (aka poison).
  • During our Food Fight segment, our listener asked about whether she should jump on the Instant Pot band wagon or not, since it seems like everyone own one. Winter, herself, loves the Instant Pot, but she acknowledges that the IP is another cooking method, just like Jason Logsdon said in his episode on sous vide. Wise words!

Run Time: 48 minutes

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