Smile Politely

Eating foraged goods from Berries & Flour 

Berries & Flour cake cropped to header image size. Photo by Matthew Macomber.
Matthew Macomber

Started in 2017 by Heidi Leuszler, Berries & Flour specializes in products with locally foraged ingredients. Though they started with just the Champaign farmers’ market, they now make trips to the Urbana and Mahomet farmers’ markets, as well.

Berries & Flour owner Heidi Leuszler and one of her staff smiling behind their booth at the Champaign Farmer’s Market. Photo by Matthew Macomber.
Matthew Macomber

Even though I’ve been visiting their booth most weeks since 2017, they consistently experiment with new things. This time was no different, so I made sure to buy products I’d never seen before. For those interested, Berries & Flour also accepts Link/SNAP.

A pea, mint, and rose mini cake with a cupcake wrapper on a small plate. Photo by Matthew Macomber.
Matthew Macomber

For something refreshing on a hot summer day, I bought a pea, mint, and rose mini cake ($4.00). Two and a half inches across, this cake was perfect for a post-dinner treat (or before, if you’re like me). The rose icing provided a rich, flowery topping to the crumbly pea cake. Though the pea cake base had a subtle taste, the mint on top and mixed into the cake were a refreshing experience.

A banana pawpaw mini cake with a cupcake wrapper on a small plate. Photo by Matthew Macomber.
Matthew Macomber

Next, I ate a banana pawpaw mini cake ($4.00) with chocolate icing. I was a fan of the chocolate and banana combination, so I knew I had to try this. The cake was moist, and the frosting thick but not too rich. I enjoyed the vague banana flavor of the pawpaw jelly core. Pawpaw is local to Illinois and is shaped like a small pear, though with many more seeds and a sweeter taste than a banana. It’s rare to find it included in local dishes, so take advantage of the opportunity to try pawpaw if you have the chance.

Eighteen gummy candies on a small plate. Photo by Matthew Macomber.
Matthew Macomber

Having loved gummy candy ever since I was a kid, I picked up a pack of dandelion, raspberry, and redbud gummy candy ($3) from Berries & Flour. More firm and less sweet than a bag of gummies you’d find at a grocery store, I enjoyed this floral treat. Though the bag wasn’t packed full, nothing I’ve ever had tasted quite like this gummy candy. A fun treat for a kid to try, for sure. 

An elderflower salted lemon mini cake with a cupcake wrapper on a small plate. Photo by Matthew Macomber.
Matthew Macomber

Since I wanted to try one more cake, I also picked up an elderflower salted lemon cake ($4.00). Garnished with fresh elderflower on a fluffy, white cake, this made for a refreshing treat. The added salt created a slightly more complex lemon taste. Elderflower season only lasts about a month, so I’m glad to have tried something so limited! 

A bag of basil rose tea. Photo by Matthew Macomber.
Matthew Macomber

Berries & Flour also make their own herbal teas, so I chose a Basil Rose tea ($5) since it was recommended by the staff. Also, following their advice, I drank it chilled. Made with sweet basil, rose, and apple mint, this tea managed to be slightly sweet without any added sugar. Though the basil is in the name, I found the cool mint and floral rose tastes to be most noticeable. Great on a hot, summer day, I wish I had a whole container of this made to share with friends! 

A container of pawpaw passionfruit shrub and sparkling water free for sampling next to syrups and shrubs. Photo by Matthew Macomber.
Matthew Macomber

If you’re looking for new things to try every week at the farmers’ market, Berries & Flour is the place to go. Since a lot of their material comes from foraging, what’s available always changes. Thankfully, they also offer larger cake orders through their website. This way, you can have your cake and then order more cake for later, too! Their website is kept up to date with current goods for sale and has information on how to join their Wild Cake Club (one 6-inch cake a month), so give it a look. As you can tell from what I sampled, Berries & Flour offer more than just cakes. Most weeks you can also find teas, gummies, cookbooks, jams/jellies, drink salts, syrups, drink kits, and shrubs (vinegar drink concentrates made with sparling water and fruit).  

Berries & Flour

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