Sea buckthorn is still a relatively obscure ingredient in North America. But according to the culinary predictions of Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail, that’s about to change this year when sea buckthorn emerges as a top 2021 food trend.
Sea buckthorn berries are now making their way into culinary creations from some of the world’s most respected chefs.
What is Sea Buckthorn and Where is it From?
Native to much of the Eurasian continent, sea buckthorn has been used since ancient times, when the Greeks fattened up their horses on the brightly-colored berries that grow in clumps along the branches of a hardy, thorny bush.
First a wild food, it’s been an important crop in Russia since the 1940s and cultivation of sea buckthorn in China has been huge since the 1980s. Sea buckthorn orchards can now be found throughout Canada.
How to Use Sea Buckthorn
At the time of writing, sea buckthorn is still emerging as a trendy ingredient in North America. It’s been popular on this side of the Atlantic with lovers of natural foods, health foods, and medicinal plants for a while, and historically has been used in its native areas as a syrup, a fruit, a medicinal oil, a juice and a tea for far longer.
Today, chefs are using the tart berries in place of citrus in recipes as varied as sorbet, cocktails, cakes, and as a sauce for meat. Renowned Danish restaurant Noma serves sea buckthorn leather with pickled rose hips as a part of its legendary 12-course Noma Nassaaq dining experience.
Links to Sea Buckthorn Recipes
- Apple Sea-Buckthorn Pie. GardenTenders.
- Sea Buckthorn Cheesecake. Vegalicious.
- Sea Buckthorn Curd Meringue with Yoghurt Sorbet and Wholemeal Shortbread. BBC.
- Sea Buckthorn Muffins. VeganMoFo.
- Sea Buckthorn Recipes. Mont Echo Naturals.
- Winter Fruit Salad with Sea Buckthorn. Ptit Chef.
Health Food Meets Fine Dining in Sea Buckthorn
Beloved by holistic healers and raw foods enthusiasts, sea buckthorn is only beginning to make its way into North American kitchens and onto plates.
Internationally, restaurants such as Copenhagen’s Noma, Berlin’s Hugos, and Cornwall’s Restaurant Nathan Outlaw are creating innovative recipes and bringing sea buckthorn into the international culinary consciousness.
And with the growth of sea buckthorn as a crop in Canada, it’s only a matter of time before it catches on on this side of the pond.