What Do Hawthorn Berries Taste Like

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I was never too fond of the hawthorn, as far as trees are concerned. As a child I didn’t really like climbing because of the thorny branches, in shrub form they formed impenetrable boundaries across the countryside often thwarting my travels wherever I went, oh the obstacles! Why have thorns? It’s not like it was worth stealing…or so I thought.

What Do Hawthorn Berries Taste Like

As I grew older, so did my appreciation for the humble hawthorn. When you think about it, you think of three uses: it has excellent firewood all year round, when it burns, it gives off enough heat to melt raw (pig iron) iron. In the spring, the leaves (often the first leaves to appear) are a useful addition to any meal. The third are the berries that form in bright red clusters in the fall and have some rather odd features.

Hawthorn, May, Maythorn, Whitethorn, Crataegus Monogyna/laevigata

So besides being used as a primitive barbed wire fence, what makes the hawthorn useful as part of the wild pantry?

In my youth, hawthorn leaves were known to soothe that annoying feeling of empty stomach, something I often experienced on the way home for tea. No problem, just gently reach into the hedge and pick a few to chew. The leaves’ ability to dispense such delicious nourishment and tummy-filling over the centuries doesn’t deserve the name “bread and cheese.” Apparently that means it has the equivalent nutritional levels…not so sure about that. So either way, leaves are good and probably at their best in the spring.

The buds, while a bit clunky, can be quite tasty, but they do take a while to collect. I like to use the leaves as part of a classic spring salad with hedges. As with many Chinese leaf varieties you get these days in salad bags or seed packs, our native plants can be used in the same way, they have a plethora of different flavors that need to be combined with a little help from the five points of flavour; sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. In this case, umami doesn’t really come in handy unless you add Maggi or another savory/protein-based ingredient to the dressing, which works really well. Of course you have to wait until next spring to fully enjoy this salad.

Collect a handful or more if you want to share and wash them well. Arrange in bowls and use a simple dressing of olive oil, a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper. This way you really taste the diversity of the British Hedgerow and I think you will be quite impressed.

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Tried them once at a young age and didn’t like them at all, too dry, fruit to stone ratio was crappy and didn’t have much flavor either. This changed when I got an interesting book last Christmas: Ray Mears’ Wild Food. In his book was a series of photos in which Ray-ray (as we like to call him) made a few moves on a hawthorn bush and collected obscene amounts of berries while I was complacently thinking; ‘Why the hell is he bothering? What does he hope to achieve with them!” I was then thoroughly put in my place. Ray began crushing all the berries in a glass bowl, adding a little water and scooping off most of the seeds and stems. The result was a hard hawthorn jelly in a bowl that can be cut and dried in the sun for future consumption. Ray had some he “made before” and said they tasted like apple licorice. Right… had to give this one before.

With the appearance of hawthorn berries covering every hedge in Sussex, it didn’t take long to get a decent crop to experiment with. When I got it to the kitchen, I started crushing them in a bowl and found that I had to add quite a bit of water to get their juices going. The resulting brown/red gunk looked quite unpleasant and bloody messy! I was worried that because of the amount of mess I made during the sieving process, my girlfriend might come home and think I’d had an intestinal accident. After I strained the berries until there was a ball of rocks left, the goo that was now a small glass bowl had already started to level up to butter straight from the fridge.

I soon learned that the jelly forms quickly due to the ridiculously high pectin content in hawthorn berries. Hips and hips have always been paired because they hang out at the same time. Rose hips are usually made into a vitamin C rich syrup, although I’ve heard they make quite an interesting preserve when combined with Haws, and the natural pectin packed haws will no doubt be very helpful for this.

After leaving it for an hour I realized I had no sun to dry out the jelly, one of the predicaments of life in Britain. I had a Biltong machine…air dried, brilliant. I happened to have a nice tomato-drying mesh tray that would keep the slices fine. The jelly was sliced ​​and placed on the dish, ready to feel a 60 watt lamp for 24 hours.

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The next day it seemed like I had made some very small pieces of biltong. Now was the acid test; when I put one in my mouth and started chewing it, it definitely tasted like a slightly grainy version of apple licorice. It tasted quite sweet, you can definitely tell it’s made from a fruit with no additives and I found it quite enjoyable but probably wouldn’t eat it every day.

I must say that I was quite satisfied, it was a good experiment overall, with the desired results. Medicinally, I’ll probably try to have one-a-day; Hawthorn is known to treat high blood pressure and is used to treat heart problems. I’ve heard that if I want to, I can even dry and smoke the leaves as a substitute for tobacco. Hmmm…maybe not? From a culinary standpoint, I’m desperately trying to crack my brain on what to do with it, but maybe the answer is nothing, some things are just fine the way they are. Written by Ariane Lang, BSc, MBA and SaVanna Shoemaker, MS , RDN, LD — Medically reviewed by Kathy W. Warwick, R.D., CDE, Nutrition — Updated December 13, 2021

These nutrient-rich berries have a tart, tangy flavor and a mild sweetness. They range in color from yellow to dark red (

For hundreds of years, people have used hawthorn berry as an herbal remedy for digestive problems, heart problems, and high blood pressure. In fact, the berry has been an important part of traditional Chinese medicine since at least 659 AD (

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Antioxidants help neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals, which can harm your body when present in high concentrations.

Free radicals can come from certain foods. You can also get more of it as a result of exposure to environmental toxins such as air pollution and cigarette smoke (

Polyphenols are associated with numerous health benefits due to their antioxidant activity, including a lower risk of (

While initial research in animals and cells is promising, more studies in humans are needed to assess the effects of hawthorn berries on disease risk.

Hawthorn Berry Syrup 6 Oz (177 Ml)

Summary Hawthorn berry contains plant polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that have been linked to numerous health benefits.

Research has found that chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, asthma, and certain cancers (

In a study in mice with liver disease, hawthorn berry extract significantly reduced levels of inflammatory compounds, leading to reduced liver inflammation and damage (

In one study, researchers gave vitexin — a compound present in hawthorn leaves — to mice with respiratory diseases. This treatment reduced the production of molecules that cause inflammation and decreased the response of white blood cells to inflammation (

Common Hawthorn (crataegus Monogyna) Showing Leaves And Red Berries, Belgium Stock Photo

These promising results from animal and test-tube studies suggest that the supplement may provide anti-inflammatory benefits for humans. However, more research is needed.

Summary Hawthorn berry extract has demonstrated anti-inflammatory potential in test-tube and animal studies. Nevertheless, research in humans is needed.

In traditional Chinese medicine, hawthorn berry is one of the most recommended foods to help treat high blood pressure (

Animal studies show that hawthorn can act as a vasodilator, meaning it can relax narrowed blood vessels and ultimately lower blood pressure (

Late Harvest Treat: Haw Jelly

A 10-week study looked at the effects of taking hawthorn extract in 36 people with mildly elevated blood pressure.

The researchers found that those who took 500 mg of the extract daily had reduced diastolic blood pressure — the lowest figure of any blood pressure reading (

In a 2006 study, researchers gave 1,200 mg of hawthorn extract every day for 16 weeks to 79 people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. The people who took the extract