Aug 09 2008

Testing new food plant.

Published by at 10:04 pm under Expeditions and Experiences

Tested bird cherry for food today. Saw how to process it on a Ray Mears show. Not impressed with the taste. Can’t see myself eating this except in a pinch. I may try to dry a few of these cakes to see how they are then.


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One response so far

One Response to “Testing new food plant.”

  1. urbanwoodsmanon 11 Aug 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Chokecherries or as you call them bird cherries are very abundant here where I am. That’s why I had to think of ways to use them. You can see some of my questioning posts on PaleoPlanet – I’m “urbanwoodsman” there. Basically what great use I found for chokecherries requires quite a bit of effort, but the end result is awesome.

    First I tried pounding the berries and then spreading them out to dry in the sun to make fruit leather out of them. It turned out fine but after eating it, you have a whole mouthful of the mashed up kernels.

    So the good method is boiling the berries for about 20-30 minutes without any water added. I just filled a whole pot with them and sat by the fire. It took me probably about 40 minutes to get them to boil. I was constantly mixing them with a huge spoon. Your goal is to get all the berries so soft that if you touch them with a spoon, the flesh comes out and the seed separates.

    Once you have the berries at this condition, let them sit to cool for a while because you wouldn’t be able to do the next step with them being so hot.

    I have an old window screen made out of fine steel with tiny but even holes of 1 square mm. I took a piece of that and filled it with a spoonful or 2 of the cooked berries. Then I squeeze and twist as much as I can to get all the thick concentrated juice into a container I’d set up earlier. The juice by the way should not be watery, it should be a little waterier than honey, but not much. After all the cooked berries have been squeezed through the wire mesh, you have the concentrated substance which is ready to be spread out on whatever you have available to let them dry in the sun. I used oven trays covered with wax paper. In your situation probably burdock leaves will work. The berries need to be spread very thinly so that when they are fully dried from the sun, they can be rolled up like leather.

    Tastes delicious.

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