Another unusual fruit this week! Barberries (Berberis thunbergii)
Grown as hedging and small decorative shrubs in gardens across Britain, many people don't realise these are edible. The berries are used a lot in Iranian and middle eastern cooking cooking, chucked into rice to give it a sharp pop when you eat them.
My friend has a massive tree sized bush growing on his grounds, covered in berries, so I decided to do a bit of scrumping (with permission) to get some to try.
I like the berries straight off the bush and so did both my children, but I can see they'd be a bit tart for some, they taste like a sweetened cranberry. I picked a small tub full and set about sorting out the berries so I could preserve them.
They are quite a fiddly berry to pick and in the end I just picked a few bunches and then sorted them out at home, whilst trying to stop Ev from eating them all.
I then put them in my little dehydrator and set them to dry for a few hours. It was tricky as they kept falling through the slats so I had to do it in two goes, I could do with getting some gause to lay them on as they'd dry a lot quicker if they wouldn't keep falling through.
I managed to dry a small jar full.
When dried they taste even better, they'd be a good substitute for raisins (if you don't mind a much tarter flavour) or dried cranberries and much easier to grow as you largely leave the bush alone and the birds don't seem to affect it much. I'm looking forward to trying these in some rice and maybe scattered over my breakfast.
Anyone else eat these or have them growing in their garden?