Back in old times the ancient Greeks used to preserve its underriped fruit in salt water adding aromatic spices, and consummated them in the same way as olives.
In Italy and South of France it is still prepared this way, and also used to make jelly and wine.
In Germany, the Cornelian cherry fruit is cooked with sugar and vinegar and served with pasta or potatoes.
In Russia, Cornelian cherry is commonly used to make soups, and to spice up some dishes.
The flavour is pungent and acidic before the fruit gets ripe in the beginning of autumn and starts falling off the tree. At that point it is of sweet-sour, while still a bit pugnant taste. When the weather becomes real cold, they get even tastier.
Cornelian cherry fruit is eaten fresh, and also used to make jams, fruit compote, wine and brandy. It can be dried in the sun or in the drier and then it preserves its natural colour.
The fruit contains twice as much vitamin C as oranges, and it is also rich in tannin, pectin and organic acids. Because tannins and pectins have beneficial effects on gizzard and intestinal mucosa the Cornelian cherry fruit is used to treat diarrhea and digestion problems.
Its seed when roasted can be used as alternative to coffee.
The Cornelian cherry tree bark is peeled off in autumn or early spring from the trunk or large branches. The leaves are picked in summer. In old times, teas prepared from the fruit and the bark were used to treat smallpox, throat pain, anemia, kidney problems, hemorrhoids, to heal open wounds…
Cornelian cherry jam recipe:
Equal amounts of the cornelian cherry fruit and sugar are mixed and stirred until they turn into homogenous mass.
This jam is prepared without thermal processing and thus it preserves all the vitamins, minerals, oligoelements, enzymes, organic acids, natural antioxidants, phytochemical compounds, fibers, and aromatic compounds.
Tea made of the Cornelian cherry bark and the fruit is used to treat intestinal deseases and fever, and against diarrhea. Due to large amounts of antioxidants, the fruit consumption is recommended to cancer patients.
Cornelian cherry juice recipe:
5 kg of Cornelian cherry fruit, 5 l of water, 4 kg os sugar, 1 lemon.
Wash the fruit, pour the water over it and cook for approximately one hour. When it’s cooked, filter the mass through a sterile gauze pad, add sugar and lemon concentrate (or one fresh lemon) and cook for another 30 minutes. Pour the hot juice into sterile bottles.
Make the most of this healthy and tasty fruit, because it is for a good reason that in the Balkans they have a saying „Healthy as the Cornelian tree fruit“.