The literal meaning of the Swedish term, allemansrätten, is ‘everyman’s right’. This refers to The Right of Public Access, which is a right for everybody. The Right of Public Access is a unique right to roam freely in the countryside. But with the right come responsibilities – to take care of nature and wildlife and to show consideration for landowners and for other people enjoying the countryside. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency sums up the Right of Public Access in the phrase ‘Don’t disturb – Don’t destroy.’ And one of the best places to enjoy this right is to be in North Sweden in summer. Umgransele is really cool. So we set out recently to enjoy the right of public access by gathering berries in the forest. The north is filled with different varieties of berries: lingon, blåbär (blue berries), kråkbär (crowberries), hjortron (cloudberries), and of course jordgubbar (strawberries), hallon (raspberries), röda vinbär (red currants), svarta vinbär (black currants), björnbär (blackberries) which you can easily find in most gardens in swedish backyards. Berries grow so abundantly in summer they attract some big companies who employ migrant pickers seasonally from as close as West European countries like Poland to as far away as Thailand to pick berries from these same forests, of course using Allemansrätten.
Blåbär ( Blueberry) Kråkbär ( Crowberry) Hjortron ( Cloudberry)
And so Santino, Stina, Christer and little Loke set out to pick hjortron in the nearby forest, a great summer excursion. We headed to a nice little spot in the woods where our eyes met with the hjortron; golden-yellow colored sticking up from the low bushes like tiny street lamps for the creeping insects and bugs below them. Hjortron can withstand cold temperatures down to well below -40°C.The ripe fruits are soft and juicy, and are rich in vitamin C. When eaten fresh, hjortron have a distinctive tart taste. When very-ripe, they have a creamy texture somewhat like yoghurt and a sweetened flavour. They are often made into jams, juices, tarts, and liqueurs. In Sweden, hjortron and hjortron jam are used as a topping for vanilla ice cream, pancakes, and waffles. In Norway, they are often mixed with whipped cream and sugar to be served as a dessert called “Multecreme” (Cloudberry cream), as a jam or even as an ingredient in homemade ice cream.There are many benefits from living North of Sweden where hjortron is also referred to ”Norrlandsguld” ( the gold of the north). While in the south hjortron is a special delicacy usually found in 3 star restaurants (some say), in the north it is enjoyed freely that one can apply it generously on pancakes or splash large scoops of it as topping on ice cream and enjoy it. Below, we shall take you step by step through the process of tasting a delicious ice cream with lots of hjortron topping.
It all starts in the woods where you ”plockar hjortronen”
Then comes the careful process of ”rensa hjortronen” (selecting, removing all the tiny leaves, sticks and spiders that might have got into the harvest). In the bags, a little bit of sugar is put to make sure the berries don’t freeze so hard when stored in the freezer.
…and whalla ”glass med hjortron”, ice cream with hjortron topping. A wonderful taste after a lovely time in the forest. Please note: we only put a little hjortron on this ice cream so that you can actually see that its ice cream 🙂