It is commonly used for ornamental purposes but the strawberry tree actually bears fruits that are edible. Strawberry trees yield fruits that usually ripen between November and December. Keep reading to find out how to put them to good use this upcoming season.
The strawberry tree, scientifically known as the Arbutus unedo, is a fruit tree native to the Mediterranean basin, Western Europe, France and Ireland.
It belongs to the Ericaceae family, just like the popular blueberry and is also known as ‘Irish strawberry tree', or cain or cane apple.
The strawberry tree is usually used as ornament however it yields red berry fruit that is edible and remarkably similar to large cherries, except for the rough textured exterior skin.
Inside, the skin reveals a soft and grainy intense yellow pulp with a refreshing flavour that can be both sweet and sour. Strawberry trees yield autumnal and winter fruits that usually ripen between November and December.
Despite that, it's not a common fruit, however it's definitely worth trying if you are lucky enough to come across it when it is in season.
The strawberry tree fruits can be eaten fresh or preserved in jams, liqueurs and syrups.
The jam they make is perfect for filling whole wheat tarts prepared and the whole fruit adds a little extra character to cakes, biscuits and sweet buns.
With the strawberry tree fruit, you can also prepare a particular vinegar that can be used to dress salads and cruditées.