Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sweetberry Honeysuckle or Blue-berry Honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea)

Manhattan cheesecake

Do you recognise those oblong blueberry lookalikes? These are the ripe berries of Lonicera caerula or sweet honeysuckle aka blue-berry honeysuckle (depending on your country of residence, you may know them as le chèvrefeuille bleu, haskap berries (whose flavour is considered to be superior to other blue honeysuckles), honeyberry, marjasinikuusama, blåbärstry, Жимолость съедобная, Blaue Heckenkirsche/Blaue Doppelbeere or something else; söödav kuslapuu/sinine kuslapuu in Estonian). In general the honeysuckle berries are somewhat bitter and mildly poisonous, and it's just the fragrant flowers that are used for making cordial, sorbet etc, for instance (just look at all those posts on FoodBlogSearch). However, the berries of blue-berry or sweet honeysuckle are edible and that's what we've got growing in our garden:

Söödav kuslapuu

Being one of the first berries to ripen in our Northern climate (just after rhubarb and before strawberries), the blue-berry honeysuckle is a useful source of vitamins and excellent berry flavour. As it's only a second year our honeysuckle bush carries any berries, there are not really enough for making jam or juice or ice cream. I served them on Midsummer eve, piling them on top of my all-time favourite cheesecake, throwing in a handful of wild strawberries as well (also from our own garden, of course).

Manhattan cheesecake

14 comments:

Joanna said...

Did you buy the Sweetberry Honeysuckle or did you find it in the wild? I would like to grow a productive hedge and this sounds a perfect addition to the hedge.

Paz said...

Very interesting about the Sweetberry Honeysuckle. I've never seen it before. It does look good on your cheesecake. Yum!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Now I have to admit I have not had these before. They look really fantastic!

Margit Markus said...

Mis nende marjade kodumaine nimetus on?

EBH said...

Here's more info on edible blue honeysuckle - http://ediblebluehoneysuckle.wordpress.com/. Most of the sources to buy are Canadian or US but there are a few UK sources. It would be great to add European sources. Do you know of any?

Sara said...

I have never heard of these, in any of the languages listed. What a funny looking berry. So interesting to read about, and looks like they were put to a lovely use!

sascha at toddler tastes said...

Wow, I've never seen anything like these before. Your recipe makes the seem very edible though!

Anh said...

Sweetberry Honeysuckle! this is new to me but they look so good!

chriesi said...

So the strawberries from your garden are finally ripe! Just gorgeous! :) Never had honeysuckle and I guess it is not possible to find them here.

katiez said...

I've never seen or heard of these. How interesting. We have very few berries in this area - other than brambles....

Emily of The Best of this Life said...

This looks too good! I've never seen berries like that before? But they look delicious...I love berries of all kind :)

warszawa mieszkania sprzedaz said...

It looks fantastic!

MarkD said...

One of my favourites...been growing them quite a while here, in my last book too. Very hardy, very early and have to be left to really ripen to be at their best. Someone asking about suppliers - we sell them www.otterfarm.co.uk

Pille said...

Joanna - we bought the plants from a gardening centre. I doubt the edible versions grow in wild..

Pax - thank you! They're king of cute in their oblongness :)

Meeta - they're lovely!

Margit - söödav kuslapuu! Kuslapuusorte on palju-palju, söödavad vaid paar-kolm..

Sara - we should have quite a bit more berries this year (third year of fruiting), so we're already thinking of ways of using them!

Anh - I can just imagine the range of interesting and tasty fruit and berries in your corner of the world!

Chriesi - those small Alpine strawberries bear fruit from late June till late September, so the kids are happy!

Katie - I should find out the French name - who knows, perhaps they're not as non-available after all?

Emily - berries are wonderful, I agree.

Mark, thank you!