These berries should be cooked before they are eaten.
"Once revered as the Queen of High Places and Enchantress of The Woods, few of us remember that from the British Isles to the Norse Countries, Rowan was once “the tree of power, causing life and magic to flower.” Quoted from website www.gathervictoria.com
These gorgeous bright orange-red berries look like tiny little apples - with a tart, bitter flavour of their own, they lend themselves to a whole manner of culinary adventures - for those who enjoy stimulating their full palate and appreciate bitter flavours.
Picked by Deanna at The Wild Pharma - you can hear what she has to say about the magical and powerful Rowan tree and it's berries, click HERE.
Though they are referred to as berries, they are in fact pommes - like apples, pears, crab apples, quinces and also hawthorn berries, hence their likeness in appearance.
Their favoured use is for making a rowan berry jelly (video instructions here), which traditionally used to be served alongside game and other strong meats and also with a cheese platter. It makes a great substitute for marmalade on a bit of toasted sourdough, or even just to take cheese on toast up a notch in nutrition and flavour.
For detailed info and recipes click HERE
You can add them sparingly to deepen the flavour of many dishes, both sweet and savoury. Added sparingly to gravy, sauces, syrups or chutneys they impart a rich depth of flavour, with a bitter twist.
In it's simplest forms you can simply boil up a few berries in some water to make a tea, adding some honey/maple syrup to sweeten. Alternatively cook a few berries in some butter and honey/maple syrup/sugar to make a rowan sauce and use in place of apple sauce as a slightly bitter accompaniment to meals that can also support digestion.
The Rowan has a rich history in folklore and is highly regarded as a herbal medicine, (please consult with an experienced herbalist for further information about using it as a medicine)
Our ancestors made wine and other alcoholic beverages from them too.
If you can't decide just yet what to do with yours, or you want to wait until you've got more time to get creative in the kitchen - you can freeze the berries until you are ready. As a bonus the berries become sweeter after being frozen - which offers clues about when nature would prefer us to eat them!
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