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mystery shopper

Meet: AroniA Berries story and recipe by shannon weber photography by jennifer silverberg

AroniA Berry Conserve with rosemAry And Juniper Fresh Aronia berries can be tricky to find fresh unless farms near you grow them. Thankfully, they freeze well – similar to blueberries – and can be found frozen in natural grocery stores and smaller health-food stores. yields | 2 cups |

16 ₂⁄₃ ½ 1

oz Aronia berries cup plus 2 Tbsp cane sugar, divided cup water large sprig fresh rosemary (or 2 small sprigs) 1 or 2 juniper berries, crushed and finely chopped 1 large lemon, peel removed in thick strips with a knife, juice strained and both reserved fat pinch kosher salt

| preparation | in a large saucepan over medium heat, combine berries,

₂⁄₃ cup sugar, water, rosemary, juniper

berries, lemon peel and juice, and salt, and mix together; stir occasionally until mixture comes to a bubble. reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, until fruit is tender and has cooked down. strain fruit, and reserve juice in pan. remove lemon peel and rosemary stems from strained berries. transfer berries to large wide-mouth canning jar; set open jar aside while making syrup. add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar to juice mixture in pan; stir over medium-high heat until sugar has dissolved and mixture bubbles. reduce heat to medium, and simmer until liquid has thickened to a syrup, 10 to 15 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning. pour hot syrup over berry mixture; syrup should just cover top of fruit. Keep jar open, and allow to come to room temperature on counter. seal jar with lid, and transfer to refrigerator to store until ready to use.

the woods are lovely, dark and deep (and filled with aronia berries)…

What Do I Do WIth It?

although you don’t see aronia berries hanging out on supermarket shelves much, they’re big players in the concentrated juice game: companies have used them for What Is It? the aronia plant is an ornamental shrub that grows particularly years to boost color, flavor and nutritional value. lithuanians use them to make wine, and native americans regarded well in the northeastern, eastern and Midwestern U.s., where the berries as a staple food. aronia berry farms have been humidity and warmth abound. you might encounter them in popping up all over the Midwest as of late, as the shrubs are densely wooded areas or swamps during the early fall, relatively profitable and easy to cultivate. when the bushes come to life with clusters of mysterious, deep-indigo-hued fruit approximately the size of a blueberry. forget summer berries: the astringency and sourness of the aronia berry is commonly known as the chokeberry (not aronia berries will change the way you do autumn. there’s to be confused with chokecherry, which is a different thing entirely) due to its pucker factor, and popping these pleasantly an earthy, woodland-forest flavor to the fruit, with a dark sweetness under layers of tartness that makes it flexible acerbic berries in your mouth is like chomping down on sour in savory or sweet dishes. cook it down to make jam, or use candy. if that’s not reason enough to try them, the berries are the juice to make a shrub for cocktails. better yet, make this disease-annihilating antioxidant powerhouses similar to more conserve with herbal undercurrents of rosemary and juniper. on-the-radar fruits like acai, sea buckthorn or mangosteen. Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning blog, and her work has appeared on websites such as bon appétit, Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen. She is a self-taught baker and cook who believes that the words “I can’t” should never apply to food preparation and that curiosity can lead to wonderful things, in both the kitchen and life.

October 2016 Feast Magazine  

Inspired by our love of nature, this issue of Feast is dedicated to the joys of fall in the Midwest. Crack open a cold one, find a place to...

October 2016 Feast Magazine  

Inspired by our love of nature, this issue of Feast is dedicated to the joys of fall in the Midwest. Crack open a cold one, find a place to...