Haskap berry growing in popularity in Saskatchewan

This weekend Saskatoon will be hosting the third annual Haskap Festival. The event includes workshops on how to grow the berry and also a dinner where chefs use the berry as an ingredient.

For many, the berry tastes like a cross between a raspberry and blueberry

If you're interested in learning more about the haskap berry, there will be a three-day festival begins in Saskatoon on Thursday. (Haskap Central )

Move over Saskatoon berry — Saskatchewan might have a new favourite fruit. 

According to Curtis Braaten from Haskap Central, the haskap berry, also known as an edible honeysuckle, is becoming popular in the province. 

"Most people get a cross between a raspberry-blueberry. Some can taste the elderberry in there," Braaten said. 

"My flavour of what it tastes like to me, it just tastes like a haskap. It is an extremely complex flavour." 

Braaten said the berry is already well known in Japan and some parts of Russia, but researchers at the University of Saskatchewan have helped develop a number of new varieties of the plant here in the province. 

It's generally one of the first berries grown during in a season and it typically does well growing in northern Saskatchewan. The bulb of the haskap berry can even withstand a bit of Canadian cold. 

As of last fall, Braaten said there were around 2 million plants in the ground in Canada. 

Haskap foodies

Braaten said the berry is also inspiring chefs because of its complex flavour. 

"Last year, we had fillet mignon and it was encrusted with haskap infused goat cheese and then they set that fillet on top of a puddle of haskap gravy," he said. 

Tomorrow kicks of a three day haskap workshop in Saskatoon, where people are invited to learn more about the fruit. 

The third annual Haskap dinner will also take place on Friday at the Sheraton Hotel in Saskatoon. 

With files from CBC Radio's Blue Sky