Mulberries are large, deciduous trees inhabitant to humid, temperate, and subtropical regions of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Technically, the mulberry fruit is an aggregation of small fruits arranged longitudinally around the central axis as in blackberry or loganberries. Each fruit measures 2-5 cm long. In most species these berries are purple-red when ripen; however they can be white, red, purple or multiple colors in the same fruit. Black Mulberry is the most tastiest and the juiciest among the available varieties.
Refreshingly luscious, quiche and sugary mulberries are indeed rich in numerous health benefiting flavonoid phyto-nutrients. Botanically, the berries are obtained from the silkworm tree belonging to the moraceae family; of the genus: Morus. Scientific name: Morus nigra. L. In Spanish they are known as moras.
More than hundred species of morus exist. In taxonomy, species generally are identified not by the color of the fruits (berries) but by the color of flower buds and leaves. So, a morus plant can have different colored berries (black, purple, red, white etc) in the same plant.
Pakistani Mulberries are originating in Islamabad. This extremely large ruby-red, maroon colored fruit reaches 2 1/2 to 5 inches long and 3/8 inch in diameter. The berry is firmer than most others with a very sweet and flavorful raspberry like flavor. Amazingly, the fruit juice does not stain, which is good since the Pakistan Mulberry is more than a mouthful. The fruit ripens over a month long period in early summer.
Pakistani Mulberry is a peculiar looking, a long, slender, purplish, snakelike fruit, anywhere from 1 to 5 inches long, with 3 inches being archetypal. Although not yet exactly common at farmers markets, they're not nearly as rare as they used to be even a few years ago. Aside from looking weird, they're quite scrumptious, with a mild, fruity flavor and a good balance of sweetness and acidity. Both for growers and consumers, a major advantage of the Pakistani Mulberry, compared with the more celebrated Persian type, is that it is firmer and has stronger skin, so that it remains reasonably dry during picking, packing and sale, and thus has a longer storage life, two or three days if refrigerated.
Some of the health benefits of Mulberries are they are low in calories but rich source of vitamins, minerals and plant derived compounds. As it carries heavy amount of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals, its consumption is effective against inflammation, cancer, neurological diseases, diabetes and bacterial infections. These are an excellent source of Vitamin C which is a powerful natural antioxidant. Mulberries are an excellent source of iron, which
is a rare feature among berries.
The Pakistan's season is May to mid-June, a bit later at higher elevations. When buying Pakistan mulberries, as with almost every fruit, ripeness is critical: the darker the berry, the sweeter and richer the flavor. Buying light reddish fruits is a waste of money, since they'll be sour and bland, with an unpleasant vegetal taste. Some growers pick them immature because they're afraid that if the berries ripen fully, they'll fall off the tree or be devoured by birds, which are highly partial to the fruits.
One interesting fact about Pakistan Mulberry is it was introduced in USA in 1986 for export and yield purposes. It was done upon demand of the US agricultural Department as they wanted promising varieties of Mulberries from around the World. Cuttings of black Mulberry trees were provided in this regard to the US government by the Islamabad Agriculture Research Center but without a local name so the variety has been called after the origin of its country. Pakistan Mulberry is unique in taste, very juicy and hard to resist so is widely used in high quality jams and protein/vitamin enriched drinks in USA.