Monday, July 30, 2007

Blog Party Berries Salal

I chose the Salal Gaultheria Shallon because it is native here in the Pacific Northwest. The name Salal comes from Pacific Northwest Native Americans. This plant was the first to get the attention of David Douglas when he landed on the Oregon Coast May 9th, 1825, he brought it back to Europe as a garden ornamental. These berries are great, they have a slight almond flavor and are similar to blue berries. You can make Salal jam, syrup, or mix them with other native berries such as Oregon Grape, Salmonberry, or Thimble Berries for pies, jams, and deserts. Salal makes a great wine (see recipe below) The coastal Native Americans used to dry them in large cakes weighing 10 to 15 pounds to store for winter use. Later when they wanted to eat them the cakes were soaked and then dipped in whale or seal oil. The leaves had medicinal uses among Native American tribes as well. The leaves were chewed to relieve colic or heartburn. The chewed leaves were used as a poultice to apply to wounds and sores. The leaves could also be used as a tea for coughs, TB, or diarrhea. Some of the Northwest tribes would blend Salal with Kinnikinnick to make a smoke blend.

Fresh Berry Soup

1 quart fresh orange juice
4 cups of any combination of yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream
1 Tbsp. honey (more, to taste)
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 1/2 pints fresh berries (raspberries, Salal, strawberries, thimble, Salmonberry)

Whisk together everything except berries.
Chill thoroughly.
Wash and drain berries.
Blueberries or raspberries should be left whole. Large strawberries should be sliced.
When ready to serve, divide berries into individual serving bowls.
Ladle the soup on top.
Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint.

Salal Berry Salad Dressing

Salal berry jam
Olive oil
Rice wine vinegar, or white wine vinegar
Tossed salad greens, or baby spinach
Dijon mustard (optional)

Mix together equal amounts of salal berry jam, olive oil, rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar. Serve over tossed greens. Add Dijon mustard for additional zest.

As seen on "A New Day" with Bruce Williams
VILand Television, April 18, 2003


  • 4 lbs salal berries
  • 1� lbs granulated sugar
  • 6� pts water
  • � tsp acid blend
  • 1 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1 crushed Campden tablet
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 pkg wine yeast

Put half the water on to boil and stir in sugar until dissolved. Meanwhile, wash berries and cull out any that are not ripe or are unsound. Put berries in nylon straining bag and tie closed. Place in primary and mash berries. Pour sugar-water over berries and add remaining water to help cooling. Cover with colth and set aside until room temperature. Stir in acid blend, yeast nutrient and crushed Campden. Recover and wait 12 hours. Stir in pectic enzyme, recover and set aside another 12 hours. Add activated yeast and recover primary. Stir twice daily until fermentation dies down. Remove straining bag, squeeze to extract maximum juice, and discard pulp. Allow to settle overnight and rack into secondary. Top up if required and fit airlock. Rack, top up and refit airlock after 60 days and again when wine clears. Set wine in cool, dark place for 4 months, checking airlock periodically. Stabilize, sweeten to taste (if desired) and set aside for 14 days. Rack into bottles and enjoy.

Resource: Profiles of Northwest Plants Peggy Robinson

wine recipe source

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