Aronia Berries!

I paid a visit to our local Food Forest yesterday, and was so blown away by how much everything has grown over the last month!! Left-behind asparagus has grown 5′ high and more, developing feathery ferns, which will help to transfer energy to the roots for next year’s spears. Giant golden, black, and red raspberries are just on the edge of ripeness, and I spied a few tiny green apples and peaches, but what’s really exciting my “I love a challenge” side at the moment is the Aronia!

Aronia, or chokeberry, is a strange little thick-skinned black berry that you may even find you have growing in yours or a neighbor’s yard. They’re native to the U.S., and grow well with little maintenance. The berries are not very tasty to eat right off the vine, but they have an unusually dry red wine flavor, that develops with the addition of some sweetness and something acid. They’re also packed with nutrients like antioxidants and Vitamin C. If you use well-tested recipes and draw on some good tips for bringing out the best of the berry, you can create some very tasty final products: syrups, jams and jellies, and baked goods.

I plan to make some jam this weekend, and will post to Facebook. Share yours!

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