When I was young and living in Creston, on The Burin Peninsula, we picked dogberries and not catberries(see explanation below). Really, they are mountain ash but we didn’t know that. Apparently they are or were called dogwood trees in some areas of Newfoundland. In other parts of the world they are referred to as rowan trees and rowan berries.
Our parents told us, as children, that there were two varieties, one was a darker red berry which we called dogberries and the lighter orange was catberries. We could eat the dark berries but avoid the lighter ones.
Dogberries, Sept 17,2015. Taken at our daughter’s in Con Bay South, Newfoundland. Lot’s of berries this year.
As kids, we would go back in the woods, pick the berries and eat them. If my memory is right, they were sour and bitter. They tasted better after the first frost. I’ve heard that you shouldn’t eat them, however; we ate them, as mentioned, after the first frost. I don’t believe we digested large quantities.
I recall visiting my friend one evening (I was about 16 years old) and he gave me a glass of his father’s dogberry wine. It tasted pretty good. I don’t recall the effect it had?
A few days ago, I asked some friends what they called them and nobody was familiar with catberries. To them, all were dogberries.
I checked google and there is no reference to catberries so it must have been a localized distinction.
Dogberry trees are plentiful here in Newfoundland Labrador.
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Here is a dogberry jelly recipe I found online. Click anywhere on green text to visit the site.
Sterilize mason jars. My wife says this recipe is similar to her Red Currant Recipe. We made Red Currant Jelly last week. Long process especially picking the red currants.
Boil 1 quart of dog berries covered with water until berries are soft. Mash berries while cooking. When soft, cool mixture. Strain through a couple of layers of cheesecloth. Measure juice into saucepan. For every 1 cup of dog berries, add 3/4 cup sugar. Boil berry juice without sugar added for 15 minutes. Add the sugar (3/4 to 1) and boil until syrupy….(a drop of mixture dropped on a plate will turn to a gel. Pour into sterilized jars and apply lids.
Rowan Berry is another name for Dogberries or Mountain Ash Berries.
This is an online recipe with a link to the site. Click anywhere in the recipe.
- About 4 cups of berries
- About 1 cup of water
- ¼ cup of lemon juice
- About 1½ cups of natural pectin from apples (You can substitute commercial pectin, but you’ll have to change the quantity of sugar according to their instruction for a similar recipe such as grape jelly.)
- About 3 cups of sugar
- Rinse berries and remove stray leaves, stems and shriveled berries
- Barely cover them with water and heat them to the boiling point, then cover and simmer until they have completely dissolved. You can use a potato masher to reduce them to a pea soup-like mush, as pictured below.
- Strain through a jelly bag. Hang the bag overnight to catch all the liquid, but do not squeeze the bag..Please ciick on green text above to go to site.
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Rowan Berry Jam..same as Dogberry Jam
The following are pictures of dogberryy/rowan berry trees we took on our walk on Sept 20,2015
Birds were eating the first bunch