Table of content A-Z

 

Cowberry

 

Synonyms: mountain cranberry, lingonberry, red whortleberry

botanical name: Vaccinium vitis-idaea


Preiselbeere

 

 

The cowberry is native to the Scandinavian countries. This berry that earlier grew wild only in forests and on heaths is meanwhile cultivated as well in Scandinavia and in Germany.

 

Availability

Cowberries are sold from August to October.

 

Appearance, taste, characteristics

Cowberries grow in small bunches on dwarf shrubs that may be 30 cm high. They are about 1 cm large, round to oval, and scarlet red and shiny when ripe. They contain many small seeds, and the proportion of pulp is accordingly smaller. Cowberries have a tart-sour flavour.

 

Ingredients

Cowberries contain polyphenols, which belong to the secondary plant substances, above all quercetin. They also have a high pectin content, which helps them to gel.

 

100 g contain:

 

Cowberry, fresh

Cowberry, tinned (sugared and including juice)

Energy (kcal)

39

1831

Water (g)

88

52.6

Protein (g)

<1

0.5

Fat (g)

<1

0.3

Carbohydrates (g)

7

441

Fibre(g)

3

n.a.*

Vitamin C (mg)

12

n.a.*

Vitamin A (RE) (µg)

4

n.a.*

Folic acid (µg)

3

n.a.*

Potassium (mg)

70

69

Sodium (mg)

2

16

Calcium (mg)

14

11

Magnesium (mg)

6

6.9

Iron (mg)

0.5

2.7

n.a.* not available
Note: As this is a natural product, and as the information is taken from various sources and therefore from different analyses, there may be fluctuations in the nutritional facts. The minerals in particular may fluctuate, since the plant takes these from the soil, the composition of which itself can vary. Its mineral content is influenced, for instance, by fertilization. The footnotes are explained here.

 

Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

The red fruits frequently keep for an amazingly long time. This is due to their naturally high content of benzoic acid. (This is added to some foods as a preservative.) In the refrigerator they will keep for a week, in the freezer for about 3 months. However, it is more advantageous to use them quickly, as their vitamin content decreases quickly.

 

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

It is possible to eat cowberries raw, but this is not exactly recommended. Owing to the high acid content of the fruits they have an astringent effect in the mouth and are thus inedible in large amounts.

 

In contrast, cowberry jam and compote are very popular, served as an accompaniment to game dishes or fried camembert or as a pie filling, a cake topping or a dessert sauce. In addition there are cowberry liqueur, juice and wine.

 

Seasoning tip

Honey, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, gingerbread spices and cardamom all taste good with cowberries.

 

 

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