Locals Guide: September
Huckleberries are related to both blueberries and cranberries, taste like a tart blueberry, and are so juicy they have to be processed or eaten right away. Huckleberry season is short, usually only August and September, so Branson’s Chocolates is debuting Huckleberry Truffles and Huckleberry Bars right at the peak of their season. We’re dreaming of Huckleberry Truffles, smooth creamy dark chocolate center with a hint of huckleberry! And the Huckleberry Bars in delicious Milk Chocolate. We take a Huckleberry Fruit Spread made right here is Oregon; cook it down with some milk chocolate to make the gooey Huckleberry center.
‘A love of huckleberries — combined with their scarcity — has created a decades-long effort to produce the berry commercially. A University of Idaho researcher named Dan Barney spent over two decades attempting to create a domesticated huckleberry that would reliably produce delicious fruit at home. He retired without accomplishing his mission. “Domesticating the wild huckleberry is impossible,” says Amit Dhingra, associate professor in the horticulture department at Washington State University. “They have been established in the wild in certain conditions in the forest, and their genetics are suited specifically for that purpose.” Most forests require a permit and limit the amount of berries a person can take home. Some rules also specify that berries be picked by hand.
Throughout history, finding and picking huckleberries has been hard work, yet for people who love them, the effort is worth it. When asked why huckleberries are worth all this trouble, Joe Culbreth laughed. “I don’t know,” he says. “But once you’ve eaten huckleberries, you’re hooked.”’
You can find all this huckleberry deliciousness right here in Ashland at Branson’s Chocolates, at 1662 Siskiyou Boulevard. We’re just a block south of Omar’s, next to Carpet Mart. Come on down and get your own batch of Huckleberry Truffles and Bars. It’s sure a lot easier than heading out to the forest to forage them for yourself. We’re open Monday – Saturday 10-5:30.
You can also find Branson’s Chocolates on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and at bransonschocolates.com for online chocolate shopping.