When a big restaurant chain changes up its menu, it puts food producers and restaurant suppliers on notice! Wendy's is planning to launch a new salad with blackberries during the summer of 2016, and is expected to buy 10% of all domestic production of the crop. That's 2 million pounds of blackberries!
The deal has been in the works for a while. Blackberry production is much smaller than other berries in the US, and each vine only produces every two years. But when Wendy's approached suppliers they immediately began changing their fields to make room for the new crop.
This isn't the first go-round with Wendy's and berries. They have a strawberry salad that is very popular. Wendy's salad line attempts to improve the healthiness of its menu, which is grounded on burgers, fries, and shakes.
Blackberries aren't as sturdy as strawberries and need special care to preserve appearance. They are used whole. Most contain tiny seeds that some people don't like, but with the new push blackberries may become more popular across the US.
If you want to use blackberries in your own dishes, store them in a small container in your refrigerator or deli case and handle them as little as possible before serving. Avoid berries with any hint of red. Red indicates they are unripe, and unripe berries have a very sour flavor. Also watch out for their juice. It can stain surfaces very easily. Polycarbonate storage containers tend to be the most stain resistant.