Cultivating and Cooking with Swedish Whitebeam Berries


| 10/18/2016 12:49:00 PM


Tags: foraging wild fruit, wild edibles, food foraging, berries, flour substitutes, bread baking, Denmark, Germany, Marion Gabriela Wick,

Swedish whitebeam ripe berries 

There is a fascinating story to Swedish Whitebeam (Sorbus intermedia). Everywhere in northern Europe there are avenues planted with it. In big cities, the like of Stockholm or Hamburg as well as there are small country roads, leading to the edge of nowhere, lined with whitebeam trees about everywhere. I believe it’s the most common avenue tree between polar circle and about 52nd lat.

But why is that? You might get a clue, when you hear the German word for it: Mehlbeere, which translates to “meal-berry”.

Cooking with Swedish Whitebeam Berries

Swedish whitebeam berries are ripe about the end of September. Middle of September last fields of grain are harvested here. Now, if grain harvest wasn’t good, perhaps due to bad weather or fungus, people used the berries of Swedish whitebeam to supplement or sometime even substitute grain.

The flesh has a mild, somewhat “boring” flavor, while the seeds, once ground, develop a pleasant marzipan type flavor, and are rich on fat. So even in terms of nutrients these berries are a good substitute for grain. They, of course, aren’t grass, so they are lacking gluten. So, for backing purposes, berry meal would need wheat or spelt added to.




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