Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Yew berry jam?

Posted on by royvickery |

auden-170Following a talk to the Friends of One Tree Hill, in Honor Oak, London Borough of Southwark, on 7 April 2016, a member of the audience mentioned ‘yew berry jam’.  According to him jam can be made from yew ‘berries’ as ‘only the pips are poisonous’.

This seems possible as although yew seeds are poisonous the fleshy pink arils that surround them can be eaten, and have been eaten by generations of schoolchildren.  They have a faintly sweet taste.  However, if the seeds have to be removed before the arils are boiled to make jam this would be a tedious and messy process.  The arils are exceedingly sticky (hence such names as red snot, snot-ball and snot-gobbles).  Perhaps the seeds can be left intact and removed by straining later, after the jam has been boiled.

Any comments would be much appreciated.

Image:  cultivated, Audley End House, Essex; September 2016.

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