Sloe Berries - Prunus spinosa - 100 or 500 grams

$10.42

Shipping to United States: $26.69


The Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), the fruit of which we call Sloes, is a deciduous large shrub or small tree growing to 5 m tall, with blackish bark and dense, stiff, spiny branches. The leaves are oval, 2–4.5 cm long and 1.2–2 cm broad, with a serrated margin. The flowers are 1.5 cm diameter, with five slightly creamy-white petals; they are produced shortly before the leaves in early spring, and are hermaphroditic and insect-pollinated.

The fruit, called a sloe (slae in Scotland) is a drupe 10–12 mm diameter, black with a pale purple-blue waxy bloom, ripening in autumn; it is thin-fleshed, with a very strongly astringent flavour when fresh.

It is frequently confused with the related Prunus cerasifera, particularly in early spring when the latter starts flowering somewhat earlier than P. spinosa. They may be distinguished by flower colour, creamy white in P. spinosa, pure white in P. cerasifera.

Dried Sloes are not the most attractive of dried berries (many dried berries aren't attractive at all) They are severely wrinkled and often have a bloom (like the bloom you find on growing black grapes) which is perfectly normal and even desirable, especially in Sloes. Plump dried berries like Cranberries for instance have been soaked in Sunflower oil and Corn syrup to give them their plump sweet appearance and texture. Thats the last thing you want from a natural product that hasn't been tampered with at all - The Sunflower oil will eventually go rancid in any case and why would you want to sweeten something that is supposed to be tart? Our Sloes are straight from the blackthorn and dried - nothing else added or taken away - just the way you'd want them.

SLOE GIN RECIPE

Pick your sloes from blackthorn hedges in October or November when they are most ripe – best if using fresh berries to wait till the first frost and then hurry otherwise you will find others have beaten you to it – honestly – you’d be amazed how many people collect Sloes! Use the dried berries if you cannot find fresh or if you prefer them but bruise them. Use around 250 grams minimum to half a litre of alcohol

500ml of Gin or Vodka (whichever you prefer)

Drop the sloes into a clean and sterilised bottle, pour 120 grams of sugar into the bottle over the sloes and top up with alcohol.

Agitate (don’t shake vigorously) the bottle daily for a week, then weekly for a month or two … by which time it will be ready to drink (but it is really best kept until the next winter)

HISTORY & FOLKLORE

It was believed that Christ’s Crown of Thorns was made from Blackthorn. In folklore to bring Blackthorn blossom into the home meant a certain death would follow. In Herefordshire and Worcestershire, in England, a wreath or globe of Blackthorn twigs would be scorched on a fire on New Year’s morning and then burned in a wheatfield in the furrows and its ashes scattered over the wheat. Then a new globe or wreath would be made and hung in the farmhouse kitchen ready for next year. It was believed that this ritual would rid the field of the devil. In a similar vein, Blackthorn would be scorched and hung up with mistletoe for good luck.

Blackthorn in bloom is considered an emblem of life and death together as the flowers appear when the tree has no leaves, just black bark and thorns. It is considered wise not to grow three trees closely together. It is said that a Hawthorn will destroy any Blackthorn near it. On the Isle of Man it is believed that if the Blackthorn and the Hawthorn have many berries then the ensuing winter will be severe.

In Irish folklore it was believed that the little people lived in Blackthorn bushes. Fairy tribes, called Lunantishees, are said to guard Blackthorn trees and will not let you cut branches off it on 11 November or 11 May – if you do you will be cursed with bad luck.

It was also bad luck to wear the flowers in your buttonhole. Another belief was that a Blackthorn wand with thorns fixed to the ends was harmful; while a carved rod carried by Devonshire witches was once thought to cause miscarriage.

Nightingales are particularly fond of the Blackthorn and will congregate around the bushes.

Like most dried berries, Sloes can sometimes develop a whiteish exterior coating which will easily wash off before use.

This is quite normal and a kind of must as that which develops on black grapes

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This information and the products themselves have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health concern or condition you would be wise to consult your doctor or a qualified practitioner

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Shipping from United Kingdom

We aim to despatch within 2 working days of receipt of order but will inform you if this differs for some reason for any product you may have ordered. We use a tracking service which requires your parcel to be signed for and you will be able, in many instances, to track the progress of your package from door to door.

Orders to destinations outside the EU will have a customs and excise declaration - customers from outside the UK should make themselves aware of any local restriction on imported plant material and the Natural Herbalist can accept no liability for custom and excise intervention in your order at transit or delivery stage.

PLEASE READ – IMPORTANT

ALL ORDER WILL ONLY BE DESPATCHED USING TRACKED AND SIGNED FOR DELIVERY WHERE APPROPRIATE (some countries provide tracked OR signed for only rather than both)

WE GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO PROVIDE TRACKING ON YOUR PURCHASE SIMPLY SO THAT YOU CAN, AT ANY POINT ON YOUR PARCEL’S JOURNEY, AND WHERE APPROPRIATE AND APPLICABLE, CHECK ON YOUR PARCEL’S PROGRESS.

TRACKING NOT ONLY INFORMS YOU OF WHERE YOUR PARCEL IS BUT ALSO IF THERE ARE ANY PROBLEMS WITH DELIVERY THAT ONLY YOU CAN CORRECT SUCH AS MISADDRESSED PARCELS, NOT BEING IN WHEN YOU HAVE TO SIGN FOR THE PARCEL OR RE-ARRANGING A DELIVERY TO SUIT YOUR SCHEDULE.

AVOIDING USE OF TRACKING WILL ONLY LEAD IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES TO YOU LOSING YOUR ORDER WHERE YOUR ASSISTANCE IS REQUIRED BY THE CARRIER TO COMPLETE DELIVERY.

PLEASE USE THE TRACKING SERVICE – IT IS SIMPLE AND EASY TO USE AND WILL HELP YOU AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT

We hope you enjoy your purchase

YOU WILL BE REQUIRED BY YOUR DOMESTIC POSTAL SERVICE TO SIGN FOR YOUR PARCEL UPON ITS DELIVERY – IF YOU ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO SIGN FOR YOUR PARCEL YOUR DOMESTIC CARRIER WILL LEAVE A NOTICE FOR YOU TO CONTACT THEM REGARDING YOUR ARRANGEMENT FOR A MORE SUITABLE TIME FOR DELIVERY OR YOUR COLLECTION OF THE ITEM FROM THE SORTING OFFICE – THEY WILL NORMALLY ALLOW UP TO THREE WEEKS FOR YOU TO ACCOMPLISH THIS.

IF, FOR SOME REASON, YOU DO NOT RE-SCHEDULE A SUITABLE TIME FOR YOUR LOCAL CARRIER TO RE-DELIVER YOUR PARCEL, IT MAY BE RETURNED ULTIMATELY TO US. THIS IS BY NO MEANS CERTAIN AND ALWAYS TAKES LONGER THAN THE OUTWARD JOURNEY BUT ONLY UPON RECEIPT OF THE RETURNED PARCEL WILL A REFUND ON THE PURCHASE PRICE BE MADE. WE WILL NOT SEND THE ITEMS AGAIN NOR REFUND THE ORIGINAL CARRIAGE CHARGE.


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Reviews (7)

Average:


Great quality sloe berries, well packaged and fast postage. Thanks!


Prompt delivery. Good quality. I rehydrated the sloes and infused them in Gin for Christmas.🙂



Items were received and exactly as described! Thank you.


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