Toxic or not? Rowan berries with a tart, sour taste

Toxic or not? Rowan berries with a tart, sour taste

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Falsely classified as toxic: But rowan berries must be heated well!
If you walk through the fields and fields in autumn, you can spot bright red rowan berries in hedges and along the path. They are not toxic, as is often thought. However, the tart wild fruits should be heated before eating in order to convert the bitter parasorbic acid into the well-tolerated sorbic acid.
Rowanberries can be processed into jam, jelly, compote, syrup, juice and liqueur.

But they also taste in pastries and cakes. For a delicious sauce, the fruits are soaked in water overnight with a dash of vinegar. Then strain, boil with a little water and pass through a sieve. If you like, you can mix the rowan berry with mild-tasting fruits such as apples, quinces or pears and season with cinnamon and cardamom. Then simmer for a further 15 minutes and pour into glasses.

Fruit and herbal teas can also be added to the dried berries. A rowan berry chutney with onions, tomatoes, red peppers and raisins goes well with soft cheeses and game dishes. The wild fruit is also very healthy and contains plenty of vitamin C (80-100 mg per 100 g berries), provitamin A, essential oils, fiber such as pectin and valuable secondary plant substances. A rowan berry purée is said to help against loss of appetite and indigestion. The fruits are also used in folk medicine for colds, rheumatism and gout.

The mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia), as the rowanberry is actually called, belongs to the rose family and is common throughout Europe. It grows preferentially on warm forest edges, clear cuts and in hedges. In autumn the tree bears very tart, slightly bitter berries, which are colored from orange-yellow to coral red. The fruits can still be found until the end of October if they are not nibbled by birds and small mammals beforehand. Therefore, you should not harvest too late. With the first frosts, the fruits taste sweeter and less bitter, but also contain less vitamin C. Before preparation, the berries are washed thoroughly and plucked from the umbels. Heike Kreutz, respectively

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