Some stirred cowberries

I have been picking cowberries, my favorite wild berry. It doesn’t taste nice just from the bush like billberries, cloadberries or raspberries. But mixed with sugar, about 500-700 gram to a kilo, it makes my favorite jam.

The season is more or less over for most wild berries. There have been nights below zero, but the cowberry can stand a bit of frost. On the 25th the moose hunting started. Everybody is free to go to the woods for picking berries anytime, but I prefer not to these days since there are hunters more or less everywere. Luckily I had already picked berries, and it is not much work to make the jam.

The older generations used to boil most of the cowberries with sugar, and they ate most of this jam with the typical norwegian meatballs (kjøttkaker) or with roasted meat. Myself I only make raw jam, and I use most of it with wholemeal bread. We calle it stirred cowberries, rørte tyttebær. No additives are needed, because these berries are full of natural conservation. I freeze most of it to keep it fresh, and by now I have a lot. But if the weather will stay ok, and the hunters start to relaxe, I don’t mind going to the woods again. There are more pictures in my wild berries photo gallery, and also a few in my food photo gallery.

59 thoughts on “Some stirred cowberries

    1. Tart, yes, very tart, Sandra. I have a friend who can’t stop eating them in the woods, but I think he is the only one. All of us otherwise take them home to mix with sugar in some way or the other.

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  1. I’ve never heard of making uncooked jam, its interesting that it can be preserved without boiling and reducing the mixture. I’d love to try it as I like some jams and jellies like plum and quince with savoury foods such as meat and cheese..

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    1. I make uncooked jam with all kinds of wild berries, and also with strawberries from the garden, and a few other garden berries. Because the taste is different and better, and probably with more vitamins. The cowberry jam can stay for ages (years actually) because the berry contain a lot of benzoic acid. Others berries have less, but sugar is also a preservative, so any raw jam will stay in the fridge for a week or more. I clean the berries for bad ones etc, others might need to wash them. There are no pollution were I pick them, and no dangerous parasites in our woods (yet).

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  2. In Japan we have the same berry in a mountain (but above 2000m)
    which we call “Ganko-ran” —- it has a tiny bell shaped white flower isn’t it ?
    You must have spent whole day or two to collect such amount😀
    One day I might go back the mountain and pick this berry and
    might might try your recipe 😀

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    1. Yes, Yoshizen, the flower is white and bellshaped. You find these both in lowland and quite high mountains, but mostly were they have taken down the forest recently, then they grow in large quantities for some years. So no, I didn’t spend a day or two. This is the most easy berry to pick, in a good place you can pick 5-10 kilos in a few hours. And by the way, this recipe (berries + sugar) you can probably use with any wild, edible berry, you just vary the amount of sugar with the sweetness of the berry and your taste.

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      1. 5~10 Kg in few hours ! ?
        I can’t imagine. All we did was hand to mouth —- may be 10 minutes then back to walk.
        So far I made Black berry jam. —– Cooking red-bean with 50 % sugar and make O-shilko with rice cake is
        my way as I wrote before 🙂

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  3. Fab post. We have a Swedish friend who makes a friendship cake at Christmas with these in. I have never seen a photo of them before. As always thanks for sharing.
    Regards Florence x

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      1. That’s funny because I hesitated to use the word, but you did exactly what I might have expected! You learned a new word today? and it’s such a “scrumptious” word, at that!😉

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      1. Oohh, yes, I’ve had the Ikea meatballs with lingon jam and I really like it. It lifts the taste of the meatballs and is actually not tart at all; a bit like having cranberry sauce with roast turkey! Delicious
        These are wonderful pix, bente, and I really love the humour of the pic where you are stirring them….LOL…love to see the action too! ;OD

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    1. You are so right, Terri. But that one is boiled, and is different from the raw one. The Ikea one goes very well with the Ikea (swedish) meatballs… In boild jam you also use pektin to make it stiff, you never do in the raw one.

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      1. Try some other berries, Terri. Raspberries are excellent, wild or from the garden. Just the smell of that jam is wonderful. Blueberies or billberries is an other possibility. Just make sure they are not polluted in some way..

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    1. Fine photographs, I particularly like the first one – lovely colors nice selective focus. I’m a wild food fan, I used to pick wild mushrooms frequently, less so now. I’ve seen these as lingonberry jam on store shelves here – now I’ll have to try some in yogurt.

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  4. Lovely images, Bente. The berries look so good in your photos, I can almost taste them.
    I’ve never heard of this type of berry so I imagine they only grown in cooler zones of the world.

    (I love the simplicity of your berry photos. They really are charming. I like simple photo subjects taken up close).

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  5. I would love to try those. I see that they don’t grow where I live, but they do just to the north of us in British Columbia. We have a similar species here called Kinnikinnik and it looks very much like it, but Kinnikinnik berries are nearly flavorless and seldom eaten except that the Indian people make a flour from them.

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  6. My mouth is watering. The berries and jam look so good. I see someone else thought they were similar to cranberries.

    Lol, I have never seen a spoon motion shot before.

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  7. I had never heard of cow berries before. You are so fortunate to live in such an organically rich area. The jam looks so yummy!

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  8. What pretty photos! Looks divine and how lovely to pick your own berries. Seems like worlds away as I shuffle around sand here in Dubai, as do the freezing temps?! Here it’s still 40 degrees ever day…

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  9. Lovely berries that you have captured beautifully. Looking at the plant, they’re definitely part of the cranberry family and I wonder if they’re the same as bog cranberry here in Canada. The jam looks delicious.

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