Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Curious Case of the Two-Toned Damson

In August 2013, a good month before my damsons usually ripen, I spotted this extraordinary two-toned damson growing on an old tree:

A two-toned Shropshire Prune damson growing in my orchard, August 2013
A two-toned Shropshire Prune damson growing in my orchard, August 2013.

Over several days I noticed many more damsons on different trees in that same ‘two-toned’ way.

I’ve never seen this anything like this before.

If you are a plant scientist and know what this colouring is all about I’d be grateful if you’d leave a comment and throw some light on this phenomenon.


Damson Pannacotta

This Shropshire Prune damson panna cotta was dreamt up and cooked by David Jarram, Head Chef at Fishmore Hall in Ludlow, Shropshire, with his Sous Chef, Nathan Eades.

The chefs presented the dessert as one of the  damson dishes at the Slow Food Ludlow Marches Taste Workshops at the Ludlow Food and Drink Festival, 2013.

The damson panna cotta, mingled with fromage blanc,  was astonishingly good. A dark chocolate ice cream truffle and caramelised granola sealed the deliciousness deal.

Damson Pannacotta: By Chef David Jaram and chef Nathan Eades
Damson Pannacotta: By Chef David Jaram and Chef Nathan Eades

Damson Chat: Grower Stanley Yapp and Wholesaler Stuart Ward

This short video features the inimitable Stanley Yapp, grower of damsons for many decades, and damson wholesaler,  Stuart Ward.

It is a feast for the eyes and the ears.

And it features the Shropshire Prune variety of damson.

The video was shot in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, a renowned damson growing area.

Video: Picking Damsons, October 2013

Although it’s nearly the end of the first week of October, there are still plenty of damsons on the trees.

In this short video I pick a few damsons from one of the internal hedges on my patch of garden on the Herefordshire-Shropshire border.

There’s a myth that damsons are nothing but bitter/sharp/sour. Which feeds into another myth that you can’t eat damsons straight off the tree. It’s not true! I wonder if people who think this are confusing damsons with their relatives, the bullaces.

While damsons do add a dimension of tartness, which is an essential counterpoint to dishes based on rich ingredients like game birds, lamb and cheeses, damsons also have a very pleasing sweetness.

Trust me (and watch the video).