Myrtle berries (Hemblass)
November 17, 2015 • Category: Mezze/Appetizers
These wild bushes get loaded with berries this time of year. Their history goes back thousands of years in the area, and the berries have a reputation for lowering cholesterol and easing digestive issues (among other uses) and are used in herbal medicine in the rural areas, as well as a snack to munch on.
My farmer friend, Um Elias, had told me recently that they swell-up and taste better after a good rain, so I was eager to test this claim.
She likes to eat them raw when she is farming nearby, and she also (like another lady I know) likes to make a liqueur with the berries.
I can think of other uses, such as an accent in a salad, or dumped in a stew. Why not?
If interested in the myrtle liqueur, here is the link.
8 Comments • Comments Feed
This morning while I was leaving my home going to work, I stopped in my front garden and picked a handful of white myrtle berries from one of my two myrtle shrubs that I brought from Cyprus to London where I live since 26 years . I was overwhelmed with a nostalgic joyful feeling that took me back to my home in Beirut . I am a true disciple of taste of Beirut , so at lunch time when I went to the site , I was thrilled to see that myrtle berries was added, And I found myself looking for a long time at those wonderful photos …
I do greatly enjoy seeing through your eyes and experiencing the natural world, the food recipes, the artistic photos, the comprehensive vibrant site and finally your passionate comments .
On November 18, 2015 at 3:42 pm
@Walid: Dear Walid, it is your appreciative readership that encourages me to maintain the ongoing commitment (and labor) to TasteofBeirut. Your mail brought a smile to my face, thank you so so much 🙂
On November 18, 2015 at 7:01 pm
I live in Vancouver, Canada. I have been trying for so long to find and buy a white Myrtle berry plant, with no success. I found the blue/black one and it did well but the fruits are not as sweet. do you know the scientific name or common name of the white variety?
On November 29, 2015 at 3:09 am
@Elias: Hi Elias, I am not well versed in horticulture. I would refer you to Trees of Joy; a Lebanese man owns this business and he grows lots of Lebanese/Mediterranean plants at his farm and sells them. His name is Bass Semmaan. He has a page on Facebook.
On December 7, 2015 at 3:10 pm
Bonjour joumana, je suis une fan de taste of Beirut, pourriez vous confirmer le nom de Bass Semmaan? Je ne le trouve pas sur facebook,merci
On January 17, 2016 at 4:38 pm
@Christine: son nom Bass Semaan, je vais vérifier. Et son business s’appelle Trees of Joy (sa fille a le même nom). Je tiens à préciser que je n’ai pas de lien contractuel avec lui, ou son business.
On January 18, 2016 at 7:43 am
We eat black Myrtle berries all the the year round from a flourishing bush in our garden as do the blackbirds 🙂 Ipswich,England. My second attempt to establish a white berry plant is a success we look forward to the berries from this as it grows. This is a part of our anti viral food dietary emphasis to help we are sure recovery should we ever encounter any coronavirus.
On October 18, 2020 at 10:33 am
Joumana Accad says:
@Chorisia All year round!? This is wonderful, as in Lebanon the berries get eaten only in the Fall.
On October 18, 2020 at 8:16 pm