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Sloe plum


Synonym: sloe, blackthorn

botanical name: Prunus spinosa




The blackthorn bush grows wild on waysides and at forest edges in thorny, thick hedges. It is not commercially cultivated.



Sloe plums, the fruit of the blackthorn, are harvested in October/November following the first autumn frost. They can be bought only from direct marketers. They are a typical fruit to be picked for one's own use.


Appearance, taste, characteristics

Sloe plums look like small plums; they are oblong-round and blue-black. A waxy bloom forms on their surface. Inside is a green pulp with a flattened stone in the middle. Sloe plums taste very sour, tart and astringent; this is moderated somewhat after the first frost.



Sloe plums are rich in tannins;


100 g contain:


Sloe plums, fresh

Energy (kcal)


Water (g)


Protein (g)


Fat (g)


Carbohydrates (g)


Fibre (g)


Vitamin C (mg)


Vitamin A (RE) (µg)


Folic acid (µg)


Potassium (mg)


Sodium (mg)


Calcium (mg)


Magnesium (mg)


Iron (mg)



Harmful substances

The same holds for sloe plums as for all wild fruits: Do not collect them in the vicinity of heavily frequented roads, as they are especially exposed there to grime and exhaust gases.


Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

Sloe plums do not keep particularly well and should be used directly after being picked. They are suitable for deep-freezing.


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

Owing to their extreme taste, sloe plums are hardly ever eaten raw. The seed should not be eaten under any circumstances, as it contains toxic substances.

The sloe plum is excellently suited for making jelly, purée or juice. The tart fruits are also useful for making alcoholic drinks such as liqueur or flavoured gin. They taste good dried or as an accompaniment to game dishes. Tea can be prepared from the leaves and the blossoms of the blackthorn bush.






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