Sunday, June 7, 2009
One Local Summer - week 1
Our meal for week one was brunch, which is possibly my favorite meal of the week. This one featured serviceberry pancakes (more on the serviceberry below) with bacon, early cherries, and of course maple syrup!
The pancakes were made from a mix from Quiver Full Farm (~33 miles) along with buttermilk leftover from making butter with cream from Snowville Creamery (~107 miles.) The bacon is from Bluescreek (~30 miles) at the North Market; maple syrup from Pleiades (~42 miles), and serviceberries and cherries from Rhoads (~42 miles.)
So what, you may ask, is a serviceberry? I'd never heard of them either, but my mom has a painting of a cedar waxwing on what must be a serviceberry tree (I spent my childhood trying to figure out what kind of berry it was. I am all about the berries.) They grow on small trees/shrubs and have a crown like a blueberry, and the taste is a bit similar. They are also known as shadbush, saskatoon, and juneberry (although the name seems to depend on the variety, of which there are many.) The city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is named after the plant (saskatoon is a Cree Indian word); they are called juneberries because they ripen in June, and shadbush because they flower when the shad-fish spawn. There are a few stories about why they are called serviceberries: either they served as a signal that the ground was unfrozen enough to bury the dead, or the blooms were gathered for church services, or they bloomed (in April) when it was finally mild enough weather to travel to church. Or maybe it's because there is a related berry in Europe called "sorbus."
I saw them at the farmer's market on Saturday and couldn't resist bringing home a pint. I've never met a fruit I didn't like, and the serviceberry is no exception. You can eat them raw or use them as you would blueberries in any recipe. They were quite good in pancakes!