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90A Dewberry Stand

Oyster season ends when the dewberries are ripe, or at least that’s the way the native Karankawa tribe figured it. After eating oysters and fish all winter, they moved their camps inland from Galveston and Bolivar when the dewberries were ripe.

For many years, dewberries, as the native blackberries are known, were wildcrafted. There are still lots of wild dewberries to be found. The best place to pick them is along a railroad right of way. You just walk down the tracks until you spot a bush. But these days there are lots of people cultivating blackberries. Some of the blackberries being sold on the side of the road may still be wild, but most of them come from blackberry gardens.

You see a lot of dewberry stands on the shoulder of Highway 290 where Highway 6 splits off north for College Station. There is a lady who sells blackberrry pies at that spot too. I have also bought the berries on the shoulder of Highway 6 in Navasota. But last week, I happened upon this guy selling dewberries, as the local blackberries are known, on 90A east of Richmond.

My kids don’t like dewberry pie because of all the little seeds. So I have taken to throwing the dewberries in the blender and then pouring them through a strainer to remove the seeds. Last year I made an awesome agua fresca de zarzamora (blackberry juice in English). The recipe is pretty simple; I just added sugar and water to the puree until it tasted good. Blackberry syrup is also a fabulous addition to a frozen margarita.

This year I am attempting seedless dewberry jam. Wish me luck.

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