Needed: Central site to list unusual botanicals for jellies, etc.

Jon Noring noring at olagrande.net
Sat Sep 8 17:58:07 EST 2001


[Original thread on rec.food.preserving. Cross-posted to a
few botanical, fruit, and gardening newsgroups.]

As this thread discussion on unusual botanicals for jellies
progresses, what I think would be very cool is if someone
could put together a central web site devoted to unusual
botanical (both wild and "domestic") species and varieties
of fruits and berries that can be used to make distinctive
jellies and other preserves.

(The most recent example is "Autumn Olive" (Elaeagnus
umbellata), a close relative of Russian Olive (Elaeagnus
angustifolia), and a 'weed' in many areas of the Eastern
and Central U.S. Here in Utah the Russian Olive is
predominant and its berries produce a scant amount of an
ugly brown juice with a mildly interesting flavor -- the
Autumn Olive berries are supposedly pink to red and quite
juicy with a distinctive flavor one can make jellies from
-- and each tree produces a *huge* amount of berries. I
mention this example solely to illustrate what would be
appropriate for this site to discuss.)

Such a site would take a lot of work to assemble (it can't
just list two or three, but must start out with dozens
-- worldwide there's probably hundreds if not thousands
of candidates), probably requiring a lot of feedback from
the rec.food.preserving community, as well as horticultural
and botanical experts and various societies, clubs and other
experts. But it would be a wonderful resource. Recipes
should be included and of course the usual information to
make sure someone doesn't make deadly jellies from
misidentified poisonous plants. (Another topic would be how
to obtain these unusual botanicals to grow in one's own
garden based on adaptability to climate, local legal
considerations, and ecological factors.)

Of course, the obvious reply to this is that I should do
this. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to do so (at
least for the next couple years.) But if anybody here thinks
this is a great idea and would like to take the lead in
assembling the site, feel more than free to take my idea
as yours and run with it! No permission is needed from me.
Just do it.

(This would be right up the alley of a botanical department
at a university, maybe in conjunction with the horticultural
and food science departments -- a cross-disciplinary service
to the world community.)

Now, back to our regular discussion.

Jon Noring


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