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strawberry tree fruits

 
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Okay, so they're edible. The red/orange orbs of Arbutus unedo, but they don't taste nearly as cool as they look. I'd love to sell them with my other unusual permie foods. An idea for recipes for them?

I'm thinking strawberry tree shortcake! As all the sugar from the whip cream would cover up the blandness of the fruits. And it would sure Look lovely.
Other ideas?
 
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I've never heard of one! where can they grow? what conditions do they like?
 
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Oh, there are beautiful bushes just outside of my office, and it was recommended to me years ago as part of an evergreen native/edible border, but I never got around to growing it myself. I picked some of the fruit at the office for my son (he thought they would make awesome, natural 'paint balls' he could throw at his friends  ), and just tried eating one last week. I agree with the part of the name 'unedo' that means 'I eat just one' - they are not particularly tasty raw. They are extraordinarily beautiful and unusual, though.

I found an article from a college or extension agency (couldn't find it again today, dang it) that said the fruit has a high pectin content and make nicely strawberry-esque flavored jams and jellies. It also said the fruit is used to make a brandy in Portugal. I'm wondering if the strawberry flavor and high pectin would work nicely to combine in a jam or jelly with rhubarb, quince, or something.
 
Kelda Miller
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Cool!

It would be fun to try them in jam! with other things with Sugar of course, as that's not very high on its list.

Also, from what I can tell of the bushes I've found (which to echo Jocelyn's post, are right outside of a bank downtown), they may be ever bearing. Like a mulberry tree doesn't have one big crop, but  a few ripe berries everyday through the summer. These bushes have red/super ripe as well as orange/hard and green, as well as flowers. I bet there's a scientific word for that type of fruiting...

Anyway, I wager that in order to make a jam I'll have to have at least ten more bushes to make it worth it.

There's a good spot on the UW campus I remember. Maybe there's enough of a 'critical mass' there to make it worth it to harvest and process.

Otherwise, it's a good snack fruit. So long as you can pop it into your mouth with something with a bit more flavor
 
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You could probably just use a basic jam recipe for them.  Once you know what they taste like as jam, you could consider adding other fruits, if you think it would be an improvement.  I used to see them in CA, but didn't even know they were edible then.

To tell the truth, most of the 'wild foods' I've tasted are pretty bland.

Sue
 
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I've learned a little about traditional wild foods from teachers like John Kallas, books, and museums.
Some were traditionally combined - sour huckleberries with sweet salal, bitter shoots and greens (or ground stone-fruits) with fish oil. 

I don't know about strawberry tree fruit (I thought it was Chinese for some reason), but if it's bland and vaguely pleasant, it might be used as "filler" for strong-flavored foods.  Like the tapioca in blackberry pie.

If the texture is like lychee at a certain stage, might try canning it with fruit juice or syrup.  Find out if the skins and pits are OK to include, tho.

I've found new life for some of my canning experiments as "pancake fodder."  Applesauce substitutes for oil and sugar in pancakes; and my sugar-free canned peaches make a pretty good substitute for applesauce

Yours,
Erica
 
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