Over the last few weeks I have been rewatching my Due South DVDs. In season 3 (actually the DVD is a combination of season 3 & 4 as they were originally broadcast), Fraser the Mountie meets up with a woman who turns out to be his sister. They bond over pemmican, a traditional Canadian trail food made of dried meat and fat.
And so I was intrigued to discover that Aronia berries were one of the extra ingredients sometimes added to pemmican. I have two Aronia x prunifolia ‘Viking’ plants in containers, that I originally ordered from Suttons in 2010. They are described as a ‘superfood’ (so trendy!), with three times the antioxidant levels of blueberries. I would expect them to leap this year, so it will be interesting to see how well they do – although you have to give them some leeway as they will be moving to Malvern at some point.
Suttons describe Aronia ‘Viking’ as an attractive deciduous shrub with brilliant autumn foliage, which I have to admit I have not yet noticed. But they are just leafing out, and the leaves are quite pretty:
Last April they produced stunning blossom:
Berries should follow in summer:
So far each plant has produced only a few berries, and I haven’t tried them. They were either eaten by the garden birds, or fed to the chickens. But if there’s enough to bother with, they are used like blackcurrants – they are not usually eaten raw, but can be juiced, and are used cooked or added to jams, etc,.
If you have Aronia ‘Viking’ too, I’d be interested to hear what you think of the plant, and how you use the berries :)