Chokecherries are a wonderful and abundant wild fruit you can harvest for juice, jelly, fruit leather, wine, syrup and more.
This was a staple of the Native Americans and was said to be one their most consumed fruits if it grew in the area they lived, and if it wasn’t they would trade for the dried cakes of it.
Often used in pemmican as well as dried and ground it provided many nutrients including antioxidants like anthocyanins.
I’m still new to working with the chokecherry but love the flavour of both the fruit as well as the pit, which itself has a strong dark cherry-amaretto flavour. However if consuming the pit they are best cooked or dried to deactivate the hydrocyanic acid contained in them like most of seeds of fruits in the Prunus genus do.
I love to munch on the fresh fruits and spit out the stones even though they turn my mouth a dark purple and I get that strong astringent sensation that leaves my mouth all fuzzy feeling.
Last night I harvested about 1 gallon of them and some were boiled with just enough water to cover, then strained for juice. And the rest were blended up and spread out for a fruit leather.
Anyone else love these? Or have you yet to try?