This week I’ve been collecting the ripe fruits of the Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo).
The fruits look like strawberries, and if eaten directly from the tree, they have a curious texture.
A few years back, I decided to make vinegar with the fruit. And every year since, I make a small bottle with fruits harvested just around the corner from my house.
My bottles of vinegar can vary in viscosity from thin (the usual) to thick (this one).
Here’s a video of me making this year’s vinegar. I don’t speak. There’s just music, so see what you make of it.
I went through my plant journal and dug out the following:
‘Jams, jellies and marmalades made from strawberry-tree fruits are more prevalent in Europe. One author suggests the fruits may even have had some significance to local agricultural communities for making this type of produce.
The purpose of homemade compotes and preserves was also to extend the fruit’s availability to eat all year round.
Strawberry-tree berries contain around 20% sugars, although a French recipe suggests an equal ratio of sugar to fruit is needed to make a decent Arbutus jam.
On the sunny Mediterranean island of Corsica, the fruits are boiled to make a traditional preserve. In Izmit, Turkey, the fruits are eaten fresh or cooked as jam.’