While conducting my weekly wildflower inventory at Anchor Diamond Park at Hawkwood today, I spied these ripening chokecherries.
However, those pictured are not ripe yet – fully ripened chokecherries are more purple-black in color, not red. You’ll want to pick them – like any fruit – at peak ripeness for the best flavor. Don’t forego tasting these cherries because of their name, but also don’t sample them raw. They are rather aptly named when eaten raw because of their pucker power. But, when cooked, their unique flavor comes forth. It is my favorite wild cherry.
If you find enough ripe cherries to give them a taste test, I would suggest making a syrup or simple sauce to have over vanilla ice cream or pancakes or waffles. If you are lucky enough to find a sufficient quantity to try a few culinary experiments, then consider these:
- Chokecherry jelly, syrup and liqueur
- Chokecherry jelly
- Chokecherry jam
- Chokecherry syrup (along with other recipes)
- Chokecherry tapioca
- Chokecherry pudding
- Chokecherry fruit leather
- Roast duck with chokecherry barbecue sauce
- Chokecherry wine (4 recipes)
- Chokecherry liqueur made from Chokecherry juice
While strolling along the woodland trails at this park, I viewed this sampler of wildflowers: