- MADRONE __ Arbutus Unedo
Origin: S & W Europe
Vitamins: C, E, P
The madrone is a real berry.
The strawberry tree is a perennial shrub or tree 5 to 15 m in height. The trunk is reddish. The leaves are lanceolate, up to 10 cm long and 5 cm wide, dark green, somewhat lighter on the underside. The flowers are 1 to 2 cm, are hanging panicles are hermaphrodite, greenish-white. The fruits are berries 2 to 3 cm, granular surface, and bright red to orange yellow, pulp is yellowish, once collected are highly perishable. It flowers in autumn.
Rich in vitamin C, E and P. Contains 10% invert sugar (fructose, glucose, sucrose and maltose). It is also rich in non-volatile acids such as malic acid, gallic acid and fumaric acid, and tannins, especially carotenoids and flavonoids (anthocyanins) with 32 mg per 100 g of this antioxidant. When ripe containing a certain amount of alcohol. The seeds have high concentrations of fatty oil.
The madrone is sweet but not very tasty, is used in preserves (jellies, jams, jellies), but also consumed raw. Cooked, it is appropriate to accompany grilled meats, the strawberry sauce is a traditional companion for bushmeat. In desserts, madrone foam is used to accompany exotic fruits like mango.
Also used for the production of vinegar (strong and red), and spirits, as the Spanish licor de madroņo , akin to pacharan, the Medronho is a liquor similar to brandy produced in Portugal, in Corsica is made a spirit, and also in Algeria is a liquor.
Usual product throughout the Mediterranean basin, and also used by Native American Indians, who also drew up a liquor similar to cider.
Suitable for warm climates, the attractive color of its fruits, is given in ornamental gardening, Pacific madrone is very popular in California and across the U.S. West Coast.
Is very nutritious, has been used medicinally for their content of tannins and flavonoids, an antioxidant and cardioprotective properties. The leaves and bark, 35% rich in tannins, are used for diuretic, antirheumatic, astringent and antiseptic.
Is a fruit known since ancient times, Pliny the Elder explains the origin of its name, unedo ( 'unus'='one' + 'edo'='eat' in Latin) would come from the recommendation to consume in moderation (one by one), for its alcohol content when ripe. Is widespread in the Iberian Peninsula, Western Europe, Mediterranean, West Coast of North America, the Caribbean Basin and northern South America.