Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Mulberries are the surprisingly small, fragile, composite fruits of trees of the genus Morus. They resemble the blackberry, but each small fruitlet actually arises from a separate flower on a short flowering stalk. The white mulberry, M. alba, is native to China, where its leaves have long been used to feed silkworms. Its color ranges from white to purple, and it is relatively bland; often it’s dried, which helps intensify its flavor. The Persian or black species, M. nigra, comes from west Asia; it’s always a dark purple and is more flavorful. The North American red mulberry, M. rubra, is mainly tart. Mulberries are used to make preserves, syrups, and sorbets.