Apples (Malus domestica) grow throughout the world and have existed since ancient times. Apples are mainly eaten raw, but are also made into apple sauce, apple juice and a wide range of desserts.
Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus). Bilberries are rich in vitamins A and C. Used for making jam, dessert soups and other desserts.
Blackberry (Rubus fructicosus). There is more than a hundred blackberry varieties. All varieties do not taste equally good, so taste them before picking. Typically used for cordials, jams and desserts.
Blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum) are rich in pectin. They are grown in gardens, but also grow wild. They are used for making cordials, jams and jellies. Their high pectin content, especially when not fully ripe, can pose problems if used to make blackcurrant cordial, which often turns to jelly in the bottle.
Bog bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum). Bog bilberries are the same colour as bilberries, but have a slightly angular oval shape.
Cherries come in two varieties: sweet cherry (Prunus avium) and sour cherry (Prunus cerasus). Sweet cherries are mainly eaten raw. Sour cherries are too sour to eat raw but make delicious cordial, jam, liqueur and wine.
Cloudberries (Rubus chamaemorus). Cloudberries are very rich in vitamin C and also contain quite a lot of benzoic acid. Cloudberries are used to make mylta (a traditional unsweetened berry mash), jams, liqueurs and desserts.
Cranberries (Vaccinium oxycoccus) are related to lingonberries, but are rich in vitamin C unlike lingonberries. They are also high in pectin. Cranberries are very sour and should not be picked until after being nipped by the first frost, which takes away some of their sourness. The cranberry plant has long, creeping branches. Cranberries are time-consuming to pick. Cranberries are used in the same way as lingonberries.
Elder (Sambucus nigra) grows wild and in gardens. The true elder variety blossoms in June with large yellowish-white flower heads that are used to make cordials, jams and desserts. The black elderberries can also be used to make cordials and jams. Red elder is a wild, non-edible elder variety with coral-coloured berries. In ancient times, elder was regarded as a holy plant. The nordic goddess Freya was believed to live in the elder tree, and would be invoked to help solve love problems. In the past, elder was used for medicinal purposes and as tea. It is still used for tea, but mainly for cordial.
Gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa) originated from the Caucasus. Early in 20th century, however, the mildew fungus arrived and destroyed many of the new breeds that had been created. Today, only mildew resistant varieties remain. Gooseberries can be green, yellow and red. They are mainly used to make jams and desserts.
Grapes (Vitis vinifera) Have been grown for more than 6,000 years. They are used for making wine and jelly, but are mainly eaten raw.
Juniper (Junipers communis). Juniper size varies from low bushes to "trees" several metres tall. Juniper is used for making drinks and as a spice, particularly in game dishes. Also used to flavour gin and jenever (Dutch gin).
Lingonberries (vaccinium vitis idaea). Lingonberries are rich in benzoic acid so they keep well without added sugar. Lingonberries are mainly used to make cordial and lingonberry crush.
Pear (Pyrus communis). Pear cultivation has been documented in Greece as long ago as 1,000 BC. Pears are closely related to apples. Unfortunately, pears don’t keep as long as apples, although certain varieties can be stored until December after harvesting in August and September. Pears are mainly eaten fresh or in desserts, but also make a good jam.
Plum (Prunus domestica). There are approximately 2,000 plum varieties in the world. Plums can be yellow, red or purple. The fruit ripens from August to October and has a very short shelf life. Most plums are eaten fresh or in desserts, but they also make excellent cordial and jam. In the past, plums were used medicinally as a remedy for constipation.
Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) Raspberries are related to blackberries, cloudberries and arctic raspberries. Raspberries also grow wild. Raspberries are one of the most common berries for making jam, but are also ideal for cordials, cakes, pies and other desserts. Also delicious eaten raw with a little milk, cream or ice cream.
Redcurrants (Ribes rubrum) and whitecurrants are used in the same way as blackcurrants.
Rosehip (Rosa dumalis). Rosehips are rich in vitamin C, but are not widely picked these days. In Sweden, rosehips are mainly used for making rosehip soup.
Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia). Grows both wild and in gardens. Rowanberries are very sour and rich in vitamin C. They are primarily used for making jelly. Rowanberries should not be picked until after the first frost, as freezing removes some of their sourness and roughness. Alternatively, they can be frozen before use.
Sea buckthorn (Hippophaë rhamnoides). Grows on sunny beaches. Buckthorn berries are rich in vitamin C, but are hard to pick because the bushes have long, sharp thorns and the berries are so juicy that they burst when picked. It’s best to cut the berries from the branches with scissors straight into a container. Used for making cordials, jellies and jams.
Sloe (Prunus spinosa). Sloes are rich in tannic acid, so taste very sour and rough on the tongue. For this reason, they should be frozen before use or picked after the first frost. Sloes are used for making cordials and liqueurs.
Strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa). Strawberries are used for cordials, jams, desserts and baking, but are mostly eaten raw with sugar and cream. In the past they were used medicinally, since they have an astringent effect and can cure diarrhoea. Strawberries are very high in vitamin C and fibre. Used for making cordials and jams. Strawberries are low in pectin, so strawberry jam turns out runny and sloppy if you don’t use jam sugar.
Woodland strawberries (Fragaria vesca) are quite rare today. They should be eaten raw.