25 seeds An unusual crop for gardeners to try, garden huckleberry bears small jet-black berries that are cooked and sweetened, and often combined with other fruits such as apples, lemons and grapes, to make jellies, preserves and pies. Garden huckleberry plants resemble pepper plants, bushy and erect, up to two feet tall. The fruits are not edible until fully ripe and cooked. They are toxic if eaten unripe!
Garden Huckleberry, Solanum nigrum
S. nigrum has been widely used as a food since early times, and the fruit was recorded as a famine food in 15th-century China. Despite toxicity issues with some forms, the ripe berries and boiled leaves of edible strains are eaten. The thoroughly boiled leaves — although strong and slightly bitter flavoured — are used like spinach as horta and in fataya pies and quiches. The ripe black berries are described as sweet and salty, with hints of liquorice and melon. In India, the berries are casually grown and eaten, but not cultivated for commercial use. In South India, the leaves and berries are routinely consumed as food after cooking with tamarind, onion, and cumin seeds. The berries are referred to as "fragrant tomato". Although not very popular across much of its growing region, the fruit and dish are common in Tamil Nadu (மணத்தக்காளி in Tamil), Kerala, southern Andhra Pradesh, and southern Karnataka. .