I never would have expected a Mulberry fruit to look like a blackberry! Growing on trees, one can only wonder that this fruit might be a by product of Thailand’s rich silk making heritage as silkworms only eat mulberry leaves. Silk making originated in China and perhaps travelled via trade routes to Thailand. The earliest known silk artefact comes from Ban Chiang in Udon Thani province in Thailand, they have found evidence of silk. Ban Chiang is acknowledged to be the oldest civilisation in Asia, dating back to the bronze age around 2100BC. However, one can imagine that early humans would have inhabited Ban Chiang a lot earlier to have a civilisation capable of producing pottery and bronze tools. The early Thais must have eaten the Thai mulberry fruit and it would be great to travel back in time to see how they would have prepared it. If anyone knows of any old Thai recipes utilising Mulberries, please leave a comment and let me know. Mulberry lends itself beautifully to mulberry jam, the firm texture of the Thai mulberry would hold up well to pickling. The Thai mulberry has a pleasant, tart taste with a distinctive flavour. The punnet of Thai mulberries was not picked at peak ripeness as it would be too soft to handle and transport. This is an interesting fruit, and one which I have not had much experience it beyond making jams.
Using Thai Mulberries
Mulberries can be pickled for both savoury and sweet use, and as I had some ‘sweet’ spices lying around, perhaps a bread and butter or 1-2-3 pickle with some warm spices wold suit the Thai mulberry. For a 1-2-3 pickle, its a simple recipe of one part vinegar to 2 parts sugar to 3 parts water. Allspice, cinnamon, vanilla, local honey and bay leaf with a pinch of Samut Songkhram ‘flower of the sea’ salt would hopefully round up the flavours. A local pineapple vinegar was used in this recipe but feel free to experiment with whatever vinegar you have on hand. It should not be too strongly flavoured but be clean and pleasant tasting. Pineapple vinegar has surprised me because of its gentle fruity flavour. I’m starting to like it even more than white wine vinegar but readers should bear in mind that here in Asia, it is very expensive and difficult to find good quality white wine vinegar. The ones commonly found are pungent and harsh. This is a simple recipe and the mulberries retain their crunch but take on an extra dimension of flavours. Tossed in a fruit salad or eaten with a dollop of sweet vanilla ice cream. Perhaps roast duck or foie gras……or simply eaten on its own. I don’t feel like I understand this fruit nor its potential yet. If anyone has any ideas or opinions to share, that would be great.
Pickled Thai Mulberries with Spices
By August 17, 2013Published:
Tangy and firm Thai mulberries pickled with warming spices in pineapple vinegar. Feel free to experiment with other herbs and spices.
- 250 grams Mulberries
- 90 grams Pineapple vinegar or any other mild vinegar
- 170 grams Sugar
- 255 grams Water
- 1 tsp Local honey
- 1 Pinch Samut Songkhram 'Flower of the Sea' Salt
- 1 piece Vanilla planifolia (Bourbon)
- 3 pieces Allspice
- 1/2 piece Bay leaf
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick
- Bring all ingredients except the mulberries to a boil in a pot
- Place mulberries in the pickling container and pour the boiling pickling solution over them. Add the spices to the pickling container too.
- Let it cool, cover and refrigerate to let the flavours mingle for at least 3 days before eating.
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