This wonderful strawberry came here from afar. There are only a few weeks to enjoy it

Dor Kedmi Himalayan berries

There are only a few weeks left to enjoy the short season of the Himalayan mulberry, also known as the Pakistani or Afghan mulberry. A family orchard in Kfar Hess offers self-picking of especially sweet fruits

Ronit Vared is burned to a written page

The Himalayan mulberry (which in Israel is also called the Afghan or Pakistani mulberry) is picked directly from the tree into the plastic tray in which it is marketed and sold to consumers: the flesh of the elongated fruits is so delicate that mechanical picking is out of the question, and even the contact of human fingers is best kept to a minimum. The pickers – in the days of a shortage of working hands, these are mostly high school students on the verge of graduation – bring the full boxes to the table standing in the shade of one of the trees, and there they carefully check them one by one to make sure that they have not mixed in fruits that were picked too late. The overripe fruits are easy to identify: beads of juice glisten on the purple-black surface, which the fruit body bursting with sugar “sweats” out. There is no more beautiful and stimulating sight than this to the eyes of the glutton – in my dream I am standing at the quality control table and devouring the accumulated depreciation – but the shelf life of the berries is short anyway, and it is better to pack the fruits just before they reach their peak.


Ronit Vared is burned to a written page

Ronit Vareddining room

Food journalist and author of food and travel books. Since 2007 she has been writing the “Dining Corner” section in the Haaretz supplement. The section deals with food culture, culinary history and food travels in Israel and around the world.

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