Empetraceae Empetrum nigrum L.

Black Crowberry

Eskimo, Inupiat - Food, Fruit

Use documented by:
Jones, Anore, 1983, Nauriat Niginaqtuat = Plants That We Eat, Kotzebue, Alaska. Maniilaq Association Traditional Nutrition Program, page 92

View all documented uses for Empetrum nigrum L.

Scientific name: Empetrum nigrum L.
USDA symbol: EMNIN (View details at USDA PLANTS site)
Common names: Black Crowberry
Family: Empetraceae
Family (APG): Ericaceae
Native American Tribe: Eskimo, Inupiat
Use category: Food
Use sub-category: Fruit
Notes: Berries eaten with oil and sugar or mixed with other berries, sourdock, ice cream or fish livers. This was a favorite food made just the same way and still just as good as it had been for centuries. It was one food one could eat all one wanted, for any meal, day after day and still like it. It was good fresh or leftover and as a main meal, side dish or dessert. The sweet acidic berries and fat fish livers balanced each other and also were exceptionally nutritious. The only limiting factor in how much one ate was picking enough berries and catching enough fish to have the ingredients. The recipe was as follows: pick clean, ripe blackberries, at least one gallon. Save the livers from four, large freshly caught fall trout. Pinch out the bile sack, without breaking it, and discard. Soak the livers in a bowl of cold water while you finish caring for the fish. Rinse the livers, throw out the soak water. Simmer the livers in clean water until just done, five to ten minutes. Lift the livers out to drain and cool. They could be stored a few days this way in the refrigerator. Skim the oil off the broth and save to add. Mash the livers thoroughly in a bowl, every tiny lump, using your hand or a fork. Mix in a little water as you mash to make a smooth paste, like thick hotcake batter. Stir in the whole blackberries until all the paste was taken up coating the berries. No salt or sugar was ever used or needed. Newcomers would prefer trout livers which were mild, but after awhile began to crave the stronger taste and more satisfying oiliness of Tom Cod livers.

RECRD: 11967 id: 13071