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Cloudberries

Cloudberry as a plant

The cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus) grows throughout the Northern Hemisphere in bogs, marshes and wet meadows, mainly in mountainous areas. It requires lots of sun and an acidic ground, but can stand extreme cold temperatures. It does not grow well in dry or salty environments. It has white flowers and red berries which turn into golden-yellow when they are ripe.
Cloudberry is a wild plant, but some attempts at commercial cultivation have been made. There is a high demand of cloudberries, and the harvest depends greatly on the weather conditions during flowering. Unlike most Rubus species, cloudberry does not self-pollinate but requires a plant of the opposite sex.

What's in a name?

Cloudberry's botanical name derives from Greek chamai, "dwarf" and morus, "mulberry". It is called bakeapple in Newfoundland, Labrador and Cape Breton Island and salmonberry throughout the majority of western Alaska. Som examples of names in other languages include:

Cloudberries as food...

Cloudberries are rich in vitamin C . The berries are said to contain 3-4 times more vitamin C than orange fruit. The berry has long been valued both by Nordic seafarers and by Canadian Inuit as protection against scurvy. Its high benzoic acid content acts as a natural preservative if the berries are frozen right away - they must not be left to stand and warm.
The berries are most delicious when eaten fresh, but can also be made into jams, juices, cakes and tarts or eaten on pancakes or waffles. Whether fresh or preserved, it's best in my opinion with either vanilla ice cream or "leipäjuusto" (bread-cheese) which is a Finnish specialty cheese. In Sweden, the berries are also used as an ice cream topping and in Norway they are eaten with whipped cream and lots of sugar.

... and in drinks

In the Nordic countries cloudberries have been used traditionally in liquers such as Lakkalikööri. Teas made from cloudberry leaves have been used to cure at least urinary tract infections and sore throats. In Canada, cloudberries are used to flavour a special beer and Rodrigues Winery in Newfoundland has made an award-winning wine and liqueur from cloudberries.

Credit: The previous owner, Mervi.