The cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus) has an aromatic and tasty fruit that is initially hard and red, but turns yellow and softens as it ripens, usually in July and August. The seeds are distributed by birds and it takes seven years for the plant to grow from a seed to an adult plant. Cloudberries are particularly common in the Nordic countries and Baltic States, but also grow in the moorlands of Britain, most of Russia and across most of Canada and Alaska, as well as elsewhere in America. The cloudberry prefers wet and sunny habitats. In Estonia cloudberries grow in bogs, marshes and swamp forests.
What do cloudberries contain?
Cloudberries contain sugars, citric acid and vitamin C. The fruits also contain benzoic acid, which is a natural preservative – meaning that the berries keep well. Fresh berries have a distinctive tart taste. When overripe, they have a creamy texture somewhat like yoghurt and a sweetened flavour. Semi-ripe berries continue ripening after being picked.
What are the benefits of cloudberries?
The fruit and the plant as a whole have been used in popular medicine to treat coughs, tuberculosis, rheumatism, gout, bladder and heart diseases. Sailors and Nordic people have used cloudberries to prevent scurvy.