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Also known as Lingonberry, Mountain Cranberry or Red Bilberry this is the fruit of a small evergreen shrub found in the Scottish Highlands, the Pennines, Northern Asia, Northern Europe and North America.


A relation of the wild cranberry and often called the same name it requires the same type of treatment prior to eating-sweetening! The berries are quite tart, though not as tart as the cranberry and are best used in either a sweet preparation or as a sweet and sour flavour note to game or poultry dishes. They also make a useful jam, jelly or syrup and because it contains vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium and magnesium are also used as a healthy juice drink in Northern Europe.

The shrub flowers in early summer and produces bright red fruits from mid September to October. Whenever you find yourself with a glut of these or similar berries it is worth pairing them with a roast game bird. Make a brown chicken stock to which is added the carcass of the cooked game bird, pass the stock through a fine sieve and cook until reduced. Add a spoonful of the sweetened berries and serve. The berries will add a colourful and textural note to the finished dish as well as heighten the sense of cooking great seasonal produce.

Content and picture Miles Collins