Bravo, bravo, BRAVO! The food and drink producers who won gold stars in the Guild of Fine Food Great Taste Awards 2014 have just been announced. And sweet and savoury food and drink products made with damsons have won several of these precious gold stars.
There’s an entry from Ireland, namely, WIld Food Mary’s Damson Vodka.
There’s a damson jam with the stones left in (a minimally processed jam, perhaps, and one with the hint of almond from the damson stone … I’m guessing).
There’s a ‘Damson Port Liqueur’, a new category to me that sounds deliciously rich.
There’s a damson vinegar, one of the finest fruit vinegars you can make and taste, and one that that can easily square up to the finest balsamics from Modena.
Then there’s ‘Damson Daize’, a non-alcoholic drink, now an award-winning drink, made by one of our very own Shropshire-based damsonistas, Tish Dockerty, from Appleteme. Well done, Tish! You’ve done the Shropshire Prune damson proud.
Here is a list of the damson winners, along with a link to their website (if available).
There’s a fungal disease that infects damsons that’s known by various names, including:
“bent banana disease”
Its Latin name is Taphrina pruni (“taphre” is Greek for trench or ditch).
This disease is fatal to damson fruits and so can seriously reduce your damson yield. It can be summed up in two words: grotesque deformity.
In ten years of growing damsons I’ve come across the occasional pocket plum-blighted damson. But this year, 2014, has been the worst ever.
In my patch on the Herefordshire-Shropshire border, every damson tree in my orchard and in the hedges in my meadow was infected to some extent. I estimate I’ve lost maybe as much as a fifth of my crop. That’s a lot of damsons to lose.
Where to Learn More About Pocket Plum
The web is a rich source of information on this disease. So, if you’d like to learn about the epidemiology, aetiology, symptoms and treatment of pocket plum you could always check out these sites: