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Claire70

hawthorn berries smell terrible!

I've just started cooking some hawthorn berries for my first hawthorn jelly - and I have to say that the smell is awful. The closest description I can come to is slightly unpleasant raw fish. My partner can smell it too so it's not just my nose!

Can anyone tell me if this is normal? I'm 99% certain I did pick hawthorns and not something else. My instinct is not to eat anything that smells bad, but I do remember that when I made gooseberry jam that that smelt horrible at first too.

Views appreciated!
Jamanda

I've never been convinced that haws are something you need to be eating unless you are actually in danger of starving to death.
Green Rosie

Apparently there is only a short time when the berries are at their ideal time to cook.

That's not much help though for you is it? Embarassed
toggle

I've never been convinced that haws are something you need to be eating unless you are actually in danger of starving to death.


only thing i've ever had with them in that was nice was a 'hedgerow sauce', something with the consistency of ketchup with a flvour somewht akin to worcestershire sauce. don't even know what else was in it, but it's scrummy
Claire70

Well, the smell did go away a bit in the end, although there is still a lingering aroma. I strained the fruit overnight and have ended up with enough juice to make about 2 tablespoons of jam, so I think I'm going to halt the experiment here. Not worth the bother, even if it does end up tasting fantastic! (Which I somehow doubt.)
Green Rosie

I'm guessing you may have picked them too late. I know I tried to make the hedgerow sauce toggle spoke about and it was all far too dry Sad

I have never tried again but will one year when I have more time Rolling Eyes Laughing
gil

I'd also say it was too late in the year now to be picking haws for culinary use.
toggle

I'm guessing you may have picked them too late. I know I tried to make the hedgerow sauce toggle spoke about and it was all far too dry Sad

I have never tried again but will one year when I have more time Rolling Eyes Laughing


i was given a bottle. it's scrummy. i do want to try making some at some point. i just found a patch of 10 year old or so planted native woodland less than half a mile from where i live. so i can likely pick some intresting stuff there
NorthernMonkeyGirl

I did a rosehip/haw goo* a few weeks ago and didn't notice any particular smell, had about equal quantities of each ingredient.



*supposed to be a jelly, came out like toffee!
gil

I did a rosehip/haw goo* a few weeks ago and didn't notice any particular smell, had about equal quantities of each ingredient.



*supposed to be a jelly, came out like toffee!

Neither ingredient has good setting properties !
Syrup is a better aim than jelly - otherwise you end up with toffee (or a burnt pan and much swearing)
catbaffler

They make wonderful wine. Unfortunately I no longer have the recipe I used but there are loads about.

I found two here http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/hawthorne-wine-40739/

A word of warning - from my own experience, the initial fermentation is extremely vigorous Laughing
Ipso-phyto

I eat hawthorn berries regularly, ever since discovering I had slightly raised blood pressure(notwithstanding the lowering of the bar with regards what actually constitutes high blood pressure).

Being completely anti pharmaceutical medicines, unless no other option exists, and aware of consequences of taking statin drugs, I embraced the ancient hedgerow medicine...

At first I thought they were a very unexciting food, no particular flavour or reedeming qualities...though proceeded to eat them more and more as my blood pressure stabalised! Its now an autumn ritual to eat these fantastic fruits. The haws nourish the heart muscle and relax the arterial walls, allowing more blood to pass through the arteries, and thereby lowering blood pressure.

The magic is contained largely in a much touted health giving compound...oligomeric proanthocyanidins, which are essentially pigment matrices within the skin of the berry.
These molecules were highlighted in the mainstream media a few years ago as the source of the power in 'superfoods' goji berries and acai berries.

Unlike the expensive aforementioned imports, our haws are not advertised, sold or championed...maybe because they are free!

I now appreciate the flavours far more, as I have seemed to have discovered that the duller red berries are sweeter than the brighter scarlett ones. Hints of apples are noticable. Does anyone else notice this? Im also really lucky to live near a park where around 24 different species of Crataegus live, which include some amazing-tasting and quite large haws, which offer peach, cherry and apricot tones as well as more familiar apple flavours in their large (up to 20mm across) fruits.

What a medicinal food!
AnnaD

That's really interesting hearing about first hand experience of hawthorn as a heart medicine. I knew about it since I worked at a herbalist and did 2 years of a herbal medicine course, but I had never heard about personal experiences. Thanks for sharing! DorsetScott

I have made apple and hawthorn leather for the last 3 years, and it's absolutely gorgeous. There isn't much that doesn't work as a leather tbh, but it's one of the easier ways to process them (if you've got a mouli or a strong arm and a sieve).

Also, Hawthorn brandy is a rather nice hedgerow tipple, made the same way as sloe gin, blackberry whisky etc.
And the wine gets a thumbs up from me too
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