[NAFEX] Cornelian cherries recipes

hector black hblack1925 at fastmail.fm
Mon Aug 9 09:05:40 EDT 2004

Just  got a recipe from a Turkish lady visiting - Take cherries 2 parts to
sugar, 1 part.  If they are dry, add small amount of water and boil.  If not
dry, mash the cherries in your hand taking seeds out, and leave sitting 24
hours with the sugar.  Put thru a sieve and store in a jar in the fridge.
  Or:  Add an equal amount of peeled peaches to the above, boil and taste
adding sugar as needed.  Push thru sieve and store in fridge.
    Hector Black, zone 6 middle TN

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "LEE REICH" <lreich at hvc.rr.com>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2004 6:37 PM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Cornelian cherries recipes

> This is from the "Harvest and Use" section of the chapter on cornelian
cherries in my book UNCOMMON FRUITS FOR
> EVERY GARDEN (Timber Press, 2004).
> Lee Reich
>  www.leereich.com
> Cornelian cherries ripen from summer through fall, the time varying from
clone to clone. Average yield of fruit
> from a single tree is between thirty and seventy pounds, although there
are trees that bear more than two
> hundred pounds of fruit.
>  Fruits from a single tree ripen over an extended period. The simplest way
to harvest in quantity is to give
> the branches a gentle shake periodically once the fruit has colored, then
collect fallen fruit from the ground.
> Ripe fruits left to hang on the tree become more concentrated in flavor
and sweetness. Some people prefer to
> allow harvested fruit to sit at room temperature for a day or more, in
which case the flavor becomes sweet, but
> more sedate.
>  When the fruit was popular in Britain, it was rarely eaten out of hand,
probably because better-tasting clones
> were unknown there. The fruits were held in high esteem for the delicious
tarts they made, and shops commonly
> sold rob de cornis, a thickened, sweet syrup of cornelian cherry fruits.
The juice also added pizazz to cider
> and perry.
>  In regions of Europe where cornelian cherry is still a popular
comestible, the fruit finds uses other than for
> just fresh eating. Since ancient times, the unripe fruits have been
pickled as a substitute for olives.
> Cornel-berries, which we use instead of olives . . . should be picked
while they are still hard and not very
> ripe; they must not, however be too unripe. They should then be dried for
a day in the shade; then vinegar and
> must boiled down to half or one-third of its original volume should be
mixed and poured in, but it will be
> necessary to add some salt, so that no worms or other form of animal life
can be engendered in them, but the
> better method of preservation is when two parts of must boiled down to
half its original volume are mixed with
> one part of vinegar.
>  (Columella, On Agriculture, first century A.D.)
> Cornelian cherry is a favored ingredient of Turkish serbert, a fruit drink
sold in stores and from portable
> containers carried like knapsacks on the backs of street vendors. (Another
common English name for cornelian
> cherry is "sorbet," though cornelian cherry is not the only fruit used for
the Turkish serbert.) In Ukraine,
> cornelian cherries are juiced, then bottled commercially into soft drinks.
There, the fruits are also made into
> conserves, fermented into wine, distilled into a liqueur, and dried.
>  The generic epithet, Cornus, is derived from the Latin word for "horn,"
alluding to the hardness of the wood,
> a quality I confirm from my experience in grafting this plant. Pliny wrote
that cornelian cherry wood was used
> for making "spokes of wheels, or else for making wedges for splitting
wood, and pins or bolts, which have all
> the hardness of those of iron." The wood's hardness also lent it a more
menacing use in the making of spears.
> >From the many gory passages relating this use by ancient writers, the
following lines from Virgil's Aeneid
> serve as example:
> Through the yielding air
> The Italian cornel wings, and piercing through
> The gullet 'neath his deep chest passed right on;
> The cavern of the dismal wound gives up
> Its foaming tide . . .
>  Returning to beneficent uses of cornelian cherry, we find many parts of
the cornelian cherry plant applied in
> folk medicine. The fruit is allegedly beneficial in the treatment of gout,
anemia, skin diseases, painful
> joints, and disrupted metabolism. Fruit, leaves, or bark have been
employed for gastrointestinal disorders and
> tuberculosis. The Russians report that the fruit contains components that
leach radioactivity from the body.
>  But I digress---our primary interest here is with the gustatory pleasure
afforded by the fruits, especially
> the fresh fruits of a superior clone plucked straight from the tree. The
fruit is as worth cultivating today as
> it was three centuries ago when John Parkinson wrote of the cornelian
cherry (in Paradisi in Sole) that "by
> reason of the pleasantnesse in them when they are ripe, they are much
desired . . . also preferued and eaten,
> both for rarity and delight."
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