[Sca-cooks] Barberries

Gretchen Beck grm at andrew.cmu.edu
Thu Nov 12 10:45:00 PST 2009

--On Thursday, November 12, 2009 10:39 AM -0800 Cheri or Anne
<celticcheri at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Feeling on this?  I'm just looking into a cranberry sauce for the
> upcoming holiday and thought I'd see what was done in period to a
> similar berry.

I've never encountered barberries in person, but the OED description of the
berry for barberry and cranberry is remarkably similar (emphasis with **

 Barberry: 1. A shrub (Berberis vulgaris) found native in Europe and N.
America, with spiny shoots, and pendulous racemes of small yellow flowers,
succeeded by oblong, ****red, sharply acid berries*****; the bark yields a
bright yellow dye. Also the genus Berberis, of which several American
species are cultivated as ornamental shrubs in Europe. 

Cranberry: 1. The fruit of a dwarf shrub, Vaccinium Oxycoccos, a native of
Britain, Northern Europe, Siberia, and N. America, growing in turfy bogs: a
small, roundish, ***dark red, very acid berry***. Also the similar but
larger fruit of V. macrocarpon, a native of N. America (large or American

This page (<http://www.nutros.com/nsr-02057.html>) says Where to find
Barberry's a dark, thorny bush, with heavy branches, beautiful (though
somewhat stinky) yellowish clusters of flowers, and bright-red, very sour
berries. The berries have been used to make jam, jellies, cakes, and wine
and taste a little like cranberries (although more sour and less bitter).

...so some adjustments to the recipe may be necessary.

toodles, margaret

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list