Sloes are small purple fruit that grow in blackthorn hedgerows all over Wales. They are usually ready to harvest around September and October.
They belong to the same family as plums and they’re are quite similar except for the sour taste of the sloes, as the formal Welsh name suggests – Eirin Tagu which translates to ‘choking plum’. Despite this, there is so much we can do with sloes.
The most obvious thing is to create Sloe Jin, Whiskey, Vodka or Rum by adding sloes and sugar to spirits of your choice – so easy to do and just the thing to drink during cold autumn and winter evenings.
Another delicious thing you can do with sloes is syrup which you can add to cocktails, ice cream or make into a jelly to eat with cold meats.
One important tip is to put the sloes in the freezer for a day before cooking – it mimics ice and softens the skin allowing the juice to flow easily from the sloes.
So next time you go for a walk, don’t forget these little beauties and collect them. Growing food in our gardens is one thing but free food is all around us in nature!