The Strawberry Tree is a large evergreen shrub with dark green leaves and white urn shaped flowers. It’s found in Western Europe, all across the Mediterranean, parts of North Africa and even in certain parts of Ireland, giving rise to it sometimes being called Irish Strawberry Tree.
The Strawberry Tree, Arbutus Unedo, produces small, red, softly spiked fruit that are both sweet and a touch sour at the same time. Many people remark on the fruit’s similarity to lychees in looks but they are completely different; while you peel lychees, these, you eat as they are, just like regular strawberries, the skin itself is pretty soft and fleshy. But they taste nothing like strawberries either! The tree bears fruit in late summer and autumn which would explain why they were everywhere during our month long stay in Morocco last November. The picture below was taken in Rabat, Morocco, just at the entrance to the Medina. The stall owner was selling only the Strawberry Tree fruit and had punnets and punnets of it.
I love eating these guys on their own, as well as with some yoghurt or cream. They are also fantastic in smoothies and as fruit juice. I was also told by the locals that they make great jam and I would assume using a strawberry jam recipe will work perfectly, here’s mine, If you fancy it.
Other Names of the Strawberry Tree
Cane or Cain Apple
Madrono in Spanish
Corbezzolo in Italian
Koumaria in Greek