East Coast Mulberries Taste Test Results

persianmd2orchardMay 20, 2012

Hi everyone, yesterday I got the chance to test out some mulberries in Virginia and I thought I'd share the flavor results. I waited until there was a few days of sun and no misty/cloudiness around to get a fair tasting. I'm partial to having a bit of a tart kick FYI.

Gerardi Dwarf- Nothing to write home about. Just OK if that.

Collier- Pretty good. Shape of a standard mulberry ~1 inch long, half inch thick. Flavor definitely had some tart in it, not too juicy. Can get a few different tastes on the tart->sweet spectrum depending on ripeness. I've heard these fall in the Illinois Everbearing school of taste, but not quite as good in the area. I would not fault anyone for liking this mulberry-it's good.

Pakistan- Very deep, rich sweet taste. However, virtually acidless. I tried eating the ones that were underripe, still no acid/tart, just less sweet. But it wasn't a straight through sugar water sweetness, it was a rich sweetness that was especially good on the ones that hard dropped and were sunbathing for a day--those were amazing.

Shangri-La- Fat, plump, these berries look great. The ones that were ripe all the way through with some softness I thought were bland/boring lightly sugared water. I tried many ripe ones and still felt this way although it may just be the season or the day as I have heard otherwise about these that when ripe can be sweet in a good way.

However, then I started eating the firm black ones- that didn't have much give when you press them... and THOSE were amazing. Awesome sweet-tart balance. A+. But short 2 week season, you better pick these at the right time you like them.

Beautiful Day- Small fruit, not that great. Yes sweet, but nothing really that great. There must be better/sweeter varieties out there. It was not completely ripe yet, but my gut said the fruit can't become that impressive. Surely OK as I see not many other options out there, probably very nice if you let them turn golden ripe/sundry a bit.

Weeping Mulberry- Technically edible, but that's about it.


For sweet tooths:

Pakistan if you like sweet and can do OK with only having fruit every other year or so in this area (it's finicky about our winters).

For acid lovers:

Shangri-La when ripe but firm

Illinois Everbearing probably over Collier.


I am still very interested in tasting or hearing flavor descriptions of Oscar, Kokuso, and Greece (white, based on Bass's posts) in greater Washington area.

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BTW Pakistan was not intensely sweet like a great high brix watermelon, it was a full sweet taste... it felt like it had many undertones to complete the taste that's the only way I can describe it--rich. I'm more describing the ones that had dropped and sunbathed for a day and were warm when I ate them. They'd make an amazing warm pie. The ones fresh off the tree were good, but not mindblowing.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 7:38AM
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Interesting! Thanks for posting this.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 8:53AM
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The old Shangri La here in Texas has fruit for the full month of April during normal local weather. When the berry color still has a slight maroon trace that has not yet blackened, the tartness is stronger. As long as the berry is firm, black, and shiny it is well balanced sweet/tart like roadside blackberries. Later when the shine is gone and a flat black color remains, they are sweet enough but have lost most of the flavor......The optimum maturity for enjoyably eating the Pakistan berries is when the individual round fruit cells are fattest and the berry juice has permeated through the cell skin so the fruit feels slightly sticky to the touch. Eating them before that point in time is good, but not 'goodest'. Regretfully, the full length green stem inside has the 'green grass' chlorophyll taste, so that prevents a purest berry flavor. I pull the stem out chewing on the fruit cells. The Paks also produce here for the full month of April.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 10:35AM
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happyballz(9A/B Valrico,Florida)

Thanks for the report! I love to know how stuff tastes before I get it.

Looks like I will enjoy my Pakistani mulberry that I got this year - I like sweet stuff :)

Any reports on the white varieties ? I bought a "white grafted" from Rain Tree but have no idea what it will be like besides "very sweet" since I understand there is tons of white ones as well. They seem to be neglected in the naming department.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 3:32PM
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bonsaist(Z6/ Bethlehem, Pa)

Thanks for the report. I will try to stop by my friend who has an old mulberry collection as soon as they're ripe. I will take photos and post taste test results. One of his black mulberries was very sour, some were sweet sour tasting. Many have no names...

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 6:15AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I visited Whitman Farms in Oregon a few years ago and wanted an Illinois Everbearing, but Lucile talked me into getting an Oscar too. She said that was her favorite. Unfortunately mice girdled it two winters ago. Some day I'll order another one. Of course, she's on the West coast, so who knows what it would be like on the East.

Here is a link that might be useful: Whitman Farms-Mulberries

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 7:52PM
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In regards to white mulberries, Beautiful Day taste test I wrote is a white mulberry. Since I was not all that impressed, I am on the prowl for finding better whites. Will post when winner is found as I'm testing out others now... Bass says he enjoys his Greece which looked great to me at least in the picture he posted! :) Any more details/pics on this variety would be great-- I don't see any sources for it. Personally I'm not a huge fan of whites anyway but why not. BTW if you're in Florida... I find mulberry flavor to be particularly dependent on climate. So you may want to take my postings with a grain of salt--they're all DC/VA/MD area results. Let us know how that Rain Tree one goes for you. I think whites have a much higher chance of being eh.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 10:43PM
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My Oscar had fruit for the first time this year. They were very good, and had a better flavor and texture than wild mulberries. I haven't tried any other named varieties to compare them to. The wild mulberries on our property are bland, not tart and I don't care for them at all. I wasn't sure if I should order a named one since I don't even like mulberries. I was glad I did after getting to try them.
The sad news is that my tree had some major damage to the trunk the first winter and I'll be very surprised if it lives. I'll post a photo. Perhaps someone can tell me what caused it.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 8:10AM
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