Red Chinese Mulberries
The Red Chinese mulberry tree is a broad, spreading bush or small tree dotted with small thorns. Like its mulberry relatives, the fruits are technically not a berries but rather aggregates of tiny fleshy drupes clustered around a single stem
Monterrey pears are a large variety from northern Mexico, botanically a cultivar of Pyrus pyrifolia. The Asian pear hybrid was selected from the tree of a popular southern Texas variety. Monterrey pears are a cross of European pear and a Japanese pear.
Sea Buckthorn Berries
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Sea Buckthorn berries grow in plentiful bunches along the branches of the Hippophae rhamnoides plant. Ripe berries can vary in color from yellow to deep orange or red. The small Sea Buckthorn berry has a thin skin and is very fragile. Within the berry are small inedible seeds, from which oil can be extracted. They are edible when fresh but have an acidic flavor. Sea Buckthorn berries contain malic acid, the same type of acid that gives an apple its tart flavor.
Fresh Sea Buckthorn berries are available in the fall; frozen berries are available year-round.
Sea Buckthorn berries are one of the most widely grown, northern-hardy fruiting plants in the world. The berries grow on a thorny shrub, botanically known as Hippophae rhamnoides, from the Greek word for “shining horse,” after Greeks took note of the shinier coats on the horses that fed on Sea Buckthorn berries and leaves. ‘Rhamnoides’ means “buckthorn-like” because Sea Buckthorn isn’t a true ‘buckthorn’ and belongs to the order Elaeagnaceae. The small edible berries are often called ‘Sea berries’ or Swallow berries for the faint yellow dye they impart on cloth.
Sea Buckthorn berries are highly nutritional and have many alternative and natural medicinal uses. The leaves alone contain 15% protein and the berries are rich in vitamins C and E, B1 and B2, folic acid and contain other healthy antioxidants. The oil extracted from the seeds has been used to treat injuries and skin conditions. The versatile berries are higher than both fish and macadamia nuts in Omega 7 fatty acids.
Sea Buckthorn berries are most often harvested for their juice, which is very acidic on its own but is usually mixed with other ingredients to tone down the tartness. When crushed, pressed or boiled and strained, the juice can be made into jelly, syrups or marinades. Sea Buckthorn syrup is used in cake recipes in Britain, as an additional flavor to soak into various cake layers and is used in a variety of other applications. In the Balkans, Sea Buckthorn juice is incorporated into a fish sauce. In Russia, Buckthorn liquor is considered a top shelf item. The hardy berries can be cooked down and fermented into wine, which takes on an orange hue.
The Sea Buckthorn berry, specifically the oil that is derived from it, has been valued by ancient cultures in the practice of folk medicine for centuries. Ancient Greeks as well as Tibetan doctors during the Tang dynasty used it to treat coughs, promote blood circulation, aid digestion, and alleviate pain. Sea Buckthorn berries have been used in Ayurvedic medicine as far back as 5,000 BC.
The Sea Buckthorn shrub was said to be the food source for the mythological winged horse, Pegasus, and records show its medicinal use dates back to 800 A.D. Sea Buckthorn can be found growing along coastal regions throughout Europe and Asia, from Norway to Spain and east to the Himalayas and Japan. The thorny bush was brought to Canada in the 1930s from Siberia. Hippophae rhamnoides grows wild in the drier regions of India. Russia and China are the largest growers of Sea Buckthorn and rely on the whole plant for both food and medicine. These delicate berries do not travel well, so they are mostly available in the areas where they are locally grown.
Recipes that include Sea Buckthorn Berries. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Blooms 'n' Food||Sea Buckthorn Jam|
|The Guardian||Sea Buckthorn Fizz|
|Fabulous Food Finds||Sea Buckthorn Berry Jelly|
|Foodal||Sea Buckthorn Mousse|
|Happy Kitchen||Sea Buckthorn Tea with Honey and Cinnamon|