This website is a celebration of damsons in general and the Shropshire Prune variety of damson in particular.
The Shropshire Prune damson is possibly the oldest known variety of damson in the UK, having been named as such on a piece of tapestry dating from the late 1500s that is housed in Shrewsbury museum.
The Shropshire Prune may even be the original variety of damson that was introduced to Britain by the Romans over two thousand years ago.
The Shropshire Prune, therefore, has been around for a long time.
This damson is a star in the kitchen, and can ‘turn it’s hand’ to a wide variety of both sweet and savoury dishes and drinks.
But also, it was an important cash crop for tenant farmers who would use the cash from the sale of their damsons to pay their yearly rent. Some families paid for their annual holiday with the money raised from their damsons.
The Shropshire Prune was also used to make dye for gloves, leather and for military uniforms. Its provenance is impeccable.
Many old varieties of fruit have disappeared, maybe some for good reason. For some time it looked like the Shropshire Prune would fade away too. But now there seems to be a growing interest in damsons in general and this little ancient damson in particular. What’s my evidence for this? Firstly there’s a buzz on social media about damsons. Secondly, several damson products have featured in the UKs culinary Oscars — The Great Taste Awards, and thirdly, some food and drink producers are naming this damson by variety. It really does seem like there is something stirring in the the damson world.
This website aims to promote the Shropshire Prune and celebrate both its provenance and its culinary distinctiveness.