"Strawberry" tree

  • Plant: Strawberry tree (Arbutus Unedo)
  • Plant part: fruit
  • Plant feauters: astringent, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, purifying, antiseptic, antidiarrheal
  • Description:

    "The fruit is not so precious," said Pliny, "as pointed out from his name, which derives from the fact that you eat just one." Pliny evidently drew on an overzealous etymology, letting derive from the Unum Edo (eat [it] only one) the name “unedo” which refers precisely to that bush defined Arbutus unedo L., known as Strawberry tree.

    Pliny also says that the fruit is difficult to digest, and can damage the stomach, but on the contrary it is known that the Strawberry Tree was always considered as a fruit tree, that means a tree that produces edible fruits with sweet flavour, that tend to a delicate acidity. The plant was also called "arboreous strawberry” not only for the taste of its fruit as for their real affinity with strawberry. This similarity also misloaded in the past into errors many researcher, who settled too easily a close relation between strawberry and strawberry trees by placing them sometimes in the same family. This mistake remains even in common terminologies that define the strawberry tree "Navy Strawberry” or even “Mountain Strawberry”.

    Actually the “Strawberry Tree” belongs to the Ericaceous family, the same family as cranberry or bearberry: just watch its flowers to realize this. Further proof of the importance of the strawberry tree is that with its fruit are obtained excellent jams and with the fermentation of them you can obtain a liqueur with not too much alcohol inside, which precisely is called “strawberry wine”, known especially in the Mediterranean regions.

The recipe

  • Ingredients:

    450 gr strawberry fruits
    - 1 litre Grappa
    - 200 gr brown sugar
    - 1 lemon peel
    - 4 leaves of lemon Verbena
    - 4 cloves

  • Preparation:

    Prepare the Grappa:
    450 grams of fruits in a litre of grappa with the addition of 200 grams brown sugar, 1 lemon peel (only the yellow part), 4 leaves of lemon verbena and 4 cloves.
    It takes six months maceration, making sure to shake occasionally for at least for the first month, therefore the Grappa take the sweet taste and slightly bitter originated from mature strawberry tree. Liqueur and fruit can of course be consumed together .

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Poli Distillerie and
Poli Grappa Museum


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