Blackthorn fruits: Vitamin-rich delicacies for connoisseurs

Blackthorn fruits: Vitamin-rich delicacies for connoisseurs

Harvest sloes after the first frost

Due to its spherical, black-blue color and the large stone, the approximately one centimeter large sloe fruit is reminiscent of its closest relative, the plum. As finds at Lake Constance show, the people of the Neolithic Age already appreciated the tasty fruits as a vitamin donor in the winter months. The Stone Age man Ötzi also carried dried sloes with him when he crossed the Alps.

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The greenish flesh of the ripe sloes tastes very sour and unpleasantly bitter at first. The first night frosts make the cell walls of the sloe fruit more permeable and the starch of the stone fruits is converted into sugar. This makes the hard pulp softer and the sloes taste much milder.

Process sloes properly

After the first frost in late October or early November, you can harvest the fruits of the sloe. If you want to pick the stone fruit before the first frost, you should freeze the sloes for a few days. However, the taste of the fruit is then not quite as intense.

Processing of sloes:

  • Wash the fruits well and let them drain
  • Halve with a sharp knife
  • Remove stone as it contains small amounts of hydrogen cyanide and should not be consumed

Jam and wine made from sloes

When they are cooked, sloes develop their intense, tangy flavor. You can combine the tart fruits with mild fruits such as apples or pears and process them into aromatic jams.

You can use the prepared fruits to make a traditional sloe wine, which was once used to stretch and color poor quality red wines. Put the stone fruit on with plenty of sugar and grain and let this mixture steep for at least two months. This drink, known as sloe fire, warms you inside during the cold season.

The fruits of the sloe - a proven natural medicine

In naturopathy, blackthorn flowers and fruits are used to alleviate various ailments. Sloes contain a lot of tannin, strengthen a weak stomach and relieve inflammation of the gums. Their high vitamin C content makes them an immune-boosting agent for stubborn colds.

Tips & Tricks

The fruits of the sloe give off a lot of dye. Due to the tannic acid content, you can dye wool and linen with the natural dye without prior staining.