Everyone in the vicinity, which includes Southern Idaho (and yes, Napoleon Dynamite felt like a documentary of my childhood) would go to Bear Lake and pick them. Our moms would make jam and it was the sweetest, pinkest, most glorious jam on earth.
Years later as we experienced “store bought jam” or even fresh raspberries grown in other areas, we would grimace, and then bore everyone around us with tales of better berries. We became Raspberry Snobs. Here’s a Vacherin I made, topped with these sweet little gems:
And a cake of mine:
And a creme brulee I topped with them:
But then (cue the sound effect of a needle screeching across a vinyl record), a few years ago it came to a halt. A virus nearly wiped out the entire raspberry plant population there, and they had to tear everything out and start over. Which takes a few years. Some of the farmers gave up entirely.
It was a dark and stormy time. Actually dark and stormy would have been good for the berries. It began to look like authentic Bear Lake Berries would be gone for good.
Thankfully, there are a few hardy souls who are working to bring the industry back again. Pictures of the annual Raspberry Days show lots of happy families enjoying Raspberry Shakes, ice cream, and desserts. So add Bear Lake to your bucket list, and enjoy these juicy red nuggets before they disappear again.
Raspberry jam makes a wonderful hostess gift as you make the rounds this Christmas. But until you can be sure it contains authentic Bear Lake berries, give the next best thing: My latest book! It’s seriously perfect for anyone of any age, and teaches the magic of gratitude. Find A Little Christmas Prayer on Amazon for just $3.49!