Posted by Maddie Halloran, reporting live from the Arctic Circle.
On my first day in Sweden, I found myself staring at a row of jars in a supermarket aisle, trying desperately to decide what kind of jelly I should buy to go with the jar of peanut butter I had been told to bring from the US (this desperate feeling was repeated in pretty much every aisle, as I tried to decipher Swedish after almost 24 hours of traveling with no sleep). My trusty friend Matt, who had been to Sweden before, walked by, and suggested that I try the cloudberry jam (“hjortron” in Swedish), cautioning that it was an acquired taste. I was a little wary of trying a new berry right off the bat, so we agreed to each buy a different type of jam and go halfsies. Needless to say, our jar of lingonberry jam lasted far longer than the cloudberry. We’re pretty obsessed, and are now finishing up our second jar.
This week, everyone was excited to see that the cloudberries on Stordalen Mire (a field site for many of us) were ripening. Cloudberries are different from any other berry I’ve seen before, because they start off bright red, and turn a light yellow as they ripen. They also have a strange, tart taste, that I can’t really describe, but its delicious.
Today, Matt and Lance picked a bunch of ripe cloudberries out on the Mire, and Matt and I made some jam out of them back at the research station. Its pretty delicious, especially on buttered toast, and we’re really proud of ourselves.