There’s a reason these berries have their telltale name. The flavour is notoriously astringent, but really luscious with a little sugar. Find them in clusters of five to 15 cherries on shrubs that grow up to five metres tall. Leaves are narrow, with serrations and a point at the tip. Syrups, jam, jellies, juice and wine are a few uses for this versatile berry. Like saskatoons, chokecherries were often included in pemmican. (photo by A. Mintenko)
Rosehips, the fruit of the wild rose, arefull of vitamin C! Their nutritional punch is backed by a cherry-tomato-like taste. Rosehips make excellent jelly and tea and add a tomato flavour to soups and stews. Just make sure you remove the seeds inside. Microscopic hairs on the seeds can do a number on your lower digestive system. Some Cree called rose hips “itchy bum berries,” because what goes in has to come out. Fortunately, simply squeezing the berry between your thumb and fingers will remove the offending seeds. (photo by Shel Zolkewich)
A recommended read
Edible & Medicinal Plants of Canada by Andy MacKinnon, Linda Kershaw and John Arnason. Lone Pine Publishing.
Shel Zolkewich writes about the outdoors, travel and food when she's not
playing outside, on the road or eating. Her recent adventures have included
harvesting walleye aboard a commercial fishing boat on Lake Winnipeg and
making a long overdue trip to Ukraine with her dad Merv. She's based in
Winnipeg where she keeps an unruly herb garden.