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Join Raleigh’s Blackberry Brigade



What we're eating: A mid-afternoon pick-me-up of Vietnamese coffee ice cream in a waffle cone from The Parlour in Durham. And since the weather has been so blazing, more ice cream, this time from lucettegrace in Raleigh—a salted-caramel ice cream macaron sandwich, in which the ice cream comes topped with massive macarons of the same flavor, and iced sipping caramel, by special request. The sandwich flavors change almost daily, so collect 'em all.

It's probably wise to eat something besides ice cream, so for dinner, we tried a feast of lamb korma, with cashew, ginger, garlic and cream sauce; plus murgh tikka masala, pieces of marinated boneless chicken breast in tomato and fenugreek sauce, both from RAAGA in Chapel Hill.

Cheese + beer = cheers: PRODIGAL FARM in Rougemont and BULL CITY BURGER AND BREWERY have combined forces to create two goat cheeses whose rind has been washed with Taurus Tripel, a Belgian-style ale. Rowdy Gentleman and Dirty Girl are available at the State Farmers' Market in Raleigh and the South Durham Farmers Market in Greenwood Commons. Read more in Hops & Crafts, the INDY's guide to beer, on stands July 29.

Attention future summer campers and budding survivalists (some of you not even born yet): The food you or your future parents store today will still be good in the Year 2040. A relief, I know.

Mountain House, maker of "emergency survival" and camping food recently announced it is guaranteeing its canned goods will not only refrain from poisoning you for at least 25 years, but it will still be nutritious and taste good. This, even in a future dystopia when you're futily trying to protect yourself from roaming glaciers that were recently separated from mother Greenland.

Apparently the company's competitors have been vaguely asserting that their dehydrated, preservative-filled "meals" will last "up to" a certain amount of time, while adhering to the standard of "will sustain life." A low bar indeed. Just ask the Donner Party.

What doesn't last 25 years? Or even 25 minutes in my house? A blackberry.

The BLACKBERRY BRIGADE picking competition, sponsored by the PIEDMONT PICNIC PROJECT, happens Saturday, July 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Shaw University in Raleigh. Here's how it works: Blackberry marauders spend the morning strolling the city's greenways and beating the bushes for the delicious fruit. Starting at noon, teams brings their blackberry bounty to the scales for a weigh-in. The team with the heaviest load wins a prize.

Keep your berry haul, or be a sport and earn some instant karma by donating them to local chefs with all proceeds going to an area nonprofit.

However, after Saturday, you may never want to see another blackberry again because in addition to picking them, you can imbibe blackberry refreshments, watch cooking and preserving demonstrations and learn about blackberry juice art.

The event is co-sponsored by the COMMUNITY FOOD LAB and SECOND SATURDAY. Get more info at

THIS WEEK'S DINNER MIXTAPE: Instead of "Für Elise," the theme song of seemingly every ice cream truck, play one of the many versions of "Ice Cream Man." For a bluesy number put on Tom Waits; for a tune more twee, try Jonathan Richman.

"Blackberry Way" by The Move, is a bizarre psychedelic tune from 1970. I wouldn't call it a good song, but under the right intoxicants, uh, circumstances, it's amusing. Segue into Los Lobos' "How Will the Wolf Survive?" The answer: Eating baby rabbits. And ice cream. —Lisa Sorg

Chow is a weekly column covering food news, politics, events and general culinary weirdness. Contact Lisa Sorg at or via Twitter @lisasorg.

Chow is a weekly column covering food news, politics, events and general culinary weirdness.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Calling all blackberry fans."


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