Saturday, 26 November 2011

Strawberry Tree Tease

While foraging around with my boy for things to make Christmas decorations out of, we spotted some strange small red fruits on the ground. They looked halfway between lychees and painted plain tree seed balls. Closer inspection revealed that they were very soft and ripe, it took no effort at all to break them open and inside they were filled with a soft, bright orange pulp.
The tree that they had fallen from still had some fruits dangling like baubles, I remembered reading somewhere that there were strawberry trees in the area and guessed that this might be what we had found.
We saw the house owner in the front garden and asked, she confirmed that it was indeed a Strawberry tree and that the fruits were edible; although she didn’t like them at all. Then, she very kindly invited us in to her back garden to see the tree.
I picked a couple of the fruits off the ground and took them home. We all tried the soft exotic looking fruits; I thought that the orange pulp tasted vaguely of citrus, with chewy seeds. They were very bland though and didn’t taste very much of anything. According to Grandma, there is also a tree in the car park of Fryern Arcade (Chandlers Ford).
All in all, I was excited about discovering and identifying the mythical strawberry tree; the beautiful fruits look totally spectacular but this tree is just a tease and the taste of its fruit is something of an anticlimax. I would eat one again but only if I was so hungry that I couldn’t walk to the shops.

It's a pity we couldn't use them as Christmas baubles.


  1. Hi, just stumbled across this looking for your medlar post. Don't be fooled by these pretty bland specimens. If you're interested at all, you'd be amazed by the taste of Strawberry Tree fruit jelly. Boil a bunch with an apple or two until soft, strain, add same amount of sugar and boil rapidly with some citric acid until setting point reached. Fruity goodness and not at all what you'd expect.


  2. Hi Lou

    This sounds like a simple plan.

    The woman I mentioned in this post might well appreciate someone to clean up her lawn for her. I will knock on her door this autumn.

    Thanks for the top tip!