Blackberries are thorny fruits of the Rosaceae family. As a member of the Rubus genus, there are hundreds of specific blackberry varieties. The name blackberry is often used as a generic term to refer to the various bush berries that are considered blackberries. These include loganberries, boysenberries, marionberries, and ollalieberries.
Blackberries are a good source of vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, and dietary fiber. Blackberries' dark purple pigment comes from the phytonutrient anthocyanins, which also have antioxidant properties.
The sweet-sour flavor and earthy quality of blackberries make them useful in both sweet and savory applications. The medium-to-high acidity of blackberries eliminates the rich flavors of creamy and aged cheeses or rich fatty meats. Blackberries can be added to coffee, ice cream, jams, and baked goods. Blackberries also pair well with nuts, aged vinaigrettes, salad greens, figs, and leafy greens.
Blackberries have a complex lineage, with native species on several continents including Asia, Europe, and North and South America. Rubus ursinus is native to the Pacific Northwest and is the most commonly commercially produced species in North America. In Europe, there are six species known as the aggregate species Rubus fruticosus. Blackberries thrive in temperate climates with mild and humid climates.