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Blackberries and mulberries are very similar in their use and their taste. Many chefs and bakers substitute the two seamlessly, no matter the recipe. Most of the time, there is barely a noticeable-enough difference between the two.
Blackberries and mulberries differ most, however, in their plant structure. The two fruits have differing shapes and grow in different formats. You can learn more about each of these berries, however, in the information below.
Table of Contents
- Mulberries vs Blackberries
- All About the Blackberry
- Information on the Mulberry
- Mulberry vs Blackberry vs Boysenberry
- Choose Your Fruit Wisely
Mulberries vs Blackberries
As mentioned, the differences in mulberries and blackberries are most prominent in their shapes and growing habits. There is a slightly noticeable variance in each of the fruit’s tastes, however.
Mulberries resemble an oval. They are long and almost missile-like in their shape.
Blackberry fruits, on the other hand, are short and stumpy. They are round and often symmetrical.
Mulberry Tree vs Blackberry Bush
You likely know what a blackberry bush is. Mulberry trees, however, are not as common around the United States. As you may understand, blackberries and mulberries each grow on a different structure.
Do Mulberries Taste like Blackberries
Finally, there are slight differences in the tastes of mulberries and blackberry fruits. Only food professionals or experts will likely be able to notice, however.
Mulberries and blackberries are both slightly sour. The former, however, is sweeter than the latter.
All About the Blackberry
Blackberries are technically not berries at all. They are aggregate fruits, meaning they have more than one carpel. The carpel is where the plant will hold the seeds.
As mentioned, blackberries only grow in bushes. If you see some on a tree, you likely saw a mulberry plant instead. Be careful when you go to pick this fruit, however, as the bushes are thorny.
Blackberry bushes are Rubus plants. Other shrubs that are part of this family are the rose, raspberry, and more.
First, the blackberry will grow straight up on a stalk. Eventually, the weight of the blackberry fruits will cause the plant to flop forward.
Reproduction occurs after the stalks flop forward. Roots will form from the end of the blackberry plant, making contact with the ground in a bramble-like pattern. Eventually, a new bush could sprout, bringing with it even more fruit.
Blackberry fruits are ripe and ready to eat by June in most localities in the United States. They typically last until August.
When the blackberries first bloom, they will look like tiny green buds. Eventually, they start to turn red, getting to black when fully ripe.
Blackberries and mulberries are very similar in their appearance. One defining feature of the former, however, is the white core. It will exist no matter the age of the fruit.
Blackberries also glow due to their matte finish, making the fruit shiny in a way. Typically, they are also slightly larger than mulberries.
The Taste of a Blackberry
Blackberries are more common than mulberries, so you may know about their taste. When just ripe, however, these fruits have tart flavor (sour taste).
Once you let your blackberries continue to ripen, they will turn sweeter. If you taste just the core, you will enjoy the earthy and woodsy flavor.
Blackberries are one of the few fruits that have texture to them. You will have to chew to digest the hard core in the middle. It is up to you to determine if you enjoy eating fruit with texture.
Recipes for Blackberries
Blackberries are an excellent ingredient for a variety of desserts and recipes. Many individuals, for instance, make blackberry cobbler, pie, ice cream, or jam.
Blackberries mix well with raspberries too. You could use both fruits in one recipe for a pie or jam, for instance.
Finally, blackberries pair well with breakfast foods. Add them to your cereal in the morning, or mix them in with your pancake batter.
Health Benefits of Blackberries
Blackberries are full of your necessary daily vitamins and micronutrients. The vitamin C in them, for instance, can help prevent sicknesses and can improve skin health.
Blackberries also have a high level of fiber. This health benefit aids in digestive health. It will also help to promote the development of probiotics in your gut.
Some scientists believe that blackberries can improve your brain and oral health. They can prevent memory loss, for instance, due to the high amount of antioxidants that exist. Blackberry extract can help to get rid of the bacteria in your mouth that causes oral health problems.
Information on the Mulberry
Mulberries are not common in the United States. You will not find them in many grocery stores or out in the wild.
When many people first see a mulberry fruit in America, they wonder if the fruit is edible. The answer is a resounding yes, however.
Mulberries are not berries either, as they are collective fruits. They are, in definition, the fusion of several flowers that come from the plant.
Mulberries are different from blackberries in that they do not grow on a bush. You will find this fruit in a tree.
Mulberry trees originated in African and Asian countries, but they now exist all over the world. Though these fruits look like blackberries, they are more closely related to figs and other similar foods.
Many growers of mulberry trees choose to keep their plants relatively small for easy access. If not pruned, however, these plants can grow up to 50 feet tall!
Mulberry trees grow fast, however, so you have to give them the care they need. Typically, you can expect the first crop of a new plant to come in two or three years.
In America, some states do not allow people or businesses to grow mulberry trees. The pollen especially creates an excessive amount of pollution, which many localities deem as unhealthy.
Sometimes, people grow fruitless mulberry trees. These plants provide a healthy amount of shade to keep you cool on the hottest summer days. They also are the only food source for silkworms.
Mulberries are also typically ready for consumption in the summer. You can expect them to be fully ripe for June, July, and August.
Mulberry fruits are delicious to eat whether they are ripe or not, however. To know the ripeness of the fruit, however, you will need to test it for coloration (dark purple), size, and flavor.
When fully mature, mulberry fruits are twice the length of blackberries. They are similar in width, however.
Mulberry fruits look like a stretched-out blackberry if you want to keep things simple. They are not as shiny as the latter fruit either, though they are not as flat in appearance as raspberries.
Mulberries will also almost immediately stain your hands. This property is one of the easiest ways to know the difference between mulberry fruit and blackberry, for instance.
There are many varieties available to you when you want to purchase mulberries. The “Teas Weeping” version, for instance, resembles a blackberry the most.
The “Black Beauty” looks like a massive blackberry. “Pakistan Reds” have a similar appearance to that of a darkened raspberry. Finally, there are even white mulberries.
Since there are a few varieties of mulberries, you can expect that each type would have a different taste. The “Black Beauty” version, for instance, is the sweetest. The mild tartness creates the perfect juxtaposition.
A white mulberry, on the other hand, is overly sweet. There is no tanginess to the fruit. With this in mind, you can safely assume that the more lightly colored a mulberry is, the less tart it will be.
Though mulberries are sweeter, some individuals describe the fruit as almost vegetable-like. The stem in this berry has a woodsy taste to it.
Mulberry is s popular ingredient in tea due to its antioxidant properties. Sometimes, the dye in the fruit is an ingredient in food coloring.
Many bakers mix mulberries and blackberries in their pies, cobblers, and other baked goods. You can also experiment with the two flavor profiles when wanting to make jam or other spreads.
Are Mulberries Healthy?
Mulberries are a very healthy fruit. As mentioned, they have antioxidant properties, meaning they can help reduce inflammation in your body. Some scientists believe that these can help prevent cancer too.
Mulberries can also help to lower the potential of high cholesterol and fatty liver disease. Some individuals who have blood sugar problems reported stabilization after the regular consumption of this fruit.
Mulberry Leaf Benefits
Some individuals in Asian countries especially love to consume mulberry leaves. The antioxidants present in the fruit are more concentrated in this part of the plant.
Most individuals use mulberry leaves in a tea mixture or tincture, for instance. They are not the best in taste on their own.
Mulberry vs Blackberry vs Boysenberry
Boysenberries are another fruit that is similar to both blackberries and mulberries. They also bloom throughout the summer, making them hard to distinguish from the other fruits mentioned thus far.
About the Boysenberry
A man with the last name Boysen first attempted making boysenberries when he combined blackberries and raspberries. Unfortunately, his plan never worked. Thankfully, however, the family’s patriarch, who owns Knott’s Berry Farm, was willing to help Boysen’s dreams come to fruition.
Boysenberries are also brambled fruits, similar in their growing techniques to the blackberry. They do grow in a bush where the roots eventually lean over to form new shrubbery.
Boysenberries are much more fragile than blackberries. Rather than growing straight up, the plant grows in a horizontal arrangement.
Boysenberries are the smallest of the three fruits mentioned in this article. They are about the size of a marble.
Boysenberries also do not have the shininess that you will find on a blackberry, for instance. They are typically black with a hint of purple.
What Do Boysenberries Taste Like?
Boysenberries are not as sweet as blackberries. They have a sour and tart flavor profile.
This flavor profile is similar to what you would see on a white mulberry, for instance. It is best for savory dishes or for mixing in with other berries in a dessert.
Boysenberries only have a thin layer of skin for their protection. They are extremely soft, and the fruit may melt right in your mouth.
Is a Mulberry the Same as a Blackberry?
Mulberries and blackberries are not the same. Blackberries originated in the Americas, while the former originally existed in European and Asian countries.
Mulberries and blackberries have very similar appearances. Remember, however, the former has almost an oval-like shape that looks like a stretched-out blackberry. The latter also has a shiny, matte-like finish to it.
The two fruits each have a different taste to them too. Both are tart, but mulberries are slightly sweeter. They are best for mixing with other fruits in a dessert or jam, for instance.
Finally, though mulberries and blackberries are different fruits, they have a variety of the same health benefits. Either of these options will be rich in antioxidants, allowing you to start to feel better in no time.
Choose Your Fruit Wisely
Blackberries and mulberries are very similar. If you were in a grocery store that sold both, for instance, you could have a difficult time distinguishing them without a label. The same is true if you add in a boysenberry, however.
Remember, mulberries are a little bit sweeter than blackberries. They are also larger and have a unique shape to them. Unfortunately, however, mulberries are hard to find in America.
Blackberries are much more common. To ensure you purchased or found this specific fruit, look for the white core in the middle. You can also look out for the matte and shiny finish that exists on blackberries.