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Articles - Gourmet Pleasures:

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Cooking with barberries

Berberis, or barberries have a sharp and tangy flavour and pleasant fruity aroma. The wild fruit are commonly turned into jam, jelly, juice or syrup. For a delicious fruit juice boil the berries in a little water until they are soft, press the juice through a cloth, heat it and stir in some honey until it is dissolved. Meat and fish both gain a lot from a spicy barberry chutney. Or try the wild fruit in a couscous with almonds or in a rocket pesto on a baguette. In the oriental kitchen, barberries are used to spice rice, poultry and fish. Like currants, the dried fruits can just be nibbled or used in muesli, sweet desserts and cookies.

To your health

As far back as the middle ages barberries were used as foodstuff and medicinal plant. The fruits are rich in vitamin C and minerals and are good for people suffering from coughs and sneezes. Moreover, they stimulate the appetite and reputedly help to combat gastrointestinal disorders.

Where berberis grows wild

Barberry plants (Berberis vulgaris) are widely spread throughout Germany. In late summer, ramblers will come upon the brightly red oblong berries in open woods, on dry slopes and along the roadside. The thorny shrubs that rarely grow taller than two metres are often planted as hedges. They prefer dry, sunny locations. The wild fruits can be harvested well into autumn.

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de