In the acidic mountain soil of the northwestern United States and Canada, the tiny, bluish-purple huckleberry fruit begins to ripen mid-August. The picking season might stretch for four weeks unless the bears beat you to them. Unlike its blueberry cousin, huckleberries must be hand-picked, and attempts to cultivate them have been unsuccessful. A pound of fresh huckleberries sells for about $20, the same price as filet mignon--huckleberries are a treat and, unless you plan to visit the alpine meadows of the Rocky Mountains in late August, finding them fresh is next to impossible. Flash frozen berries, however, are available year-round and perfect for making jam. Beware! The intense sweet tart flavor of the huckleberry may spoil the senses. It just may become more than a once a year obsession.