Chequer Berries (Wild Service Tree Berries)

Chequer Berries (Wild Service Tree Berries)

These berries, from the once abundant Wild Service Tree, are absolutely delicious and are unfortunately now a rare find in the UK nowadays. 

These berries are bletted - which means they have been through a frost. This process begins the breakdown process of the starches in the berries into sugars. it makes them soft and a little mushy - but also incredibly delicious. 

Covered in natural yeasts these wild berries were once relied on for producing beer and other fermented beverages. The first pubs (The Chequers) were even named after them!

As these berries are bletted they will have begun their ripening process and will be softer and mushier than the berries you are used to, but are perfectly OK to eat.

Suggested Uses:

Eat these raw as a sweet treat, but spit out the seed.

For the more adventurous, advanced wild food and ferments enthusiasts you can use them to create a sourdough culture, to make homemade beers, wines and other wild ferments!

As these trees are now rare - I personally will be saving a few berries to grow from seed and offer to my local tree warden to arrange for them to be planted locally! You can always plant your own in a pot and see how you get on!