Today we have been talking about a fruit that we can find wild in Spain in the north and northeast, mainly the Pyrenees and the Cantabrian Mountains. This curious fruit is the Guillomo ( Amelanchier ovalis .
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GUILLOMO ( AMELANCHIER OVALIS )
We have fruits that are consumed on a regular basis because they are grown and we have them in any store or supermarket and almost at any time.
If we start to count the different types of fruit that we usually eat, there are not so many. A few dozen, not much more.
Depending on continents and geographical areas, the range is widened or narrowed but it is certain that there is much more than what is usually consumed.
Apart from the most commercialized fruits, we have others that grow in fields, meadows and forests to which we do not pay much attention. However, some have very pleasant flavors and considerable nutritional properties.
It is convenient to know them and take advantage of it when we take a walk through the mountains.
We also want to talk about one of these fruits, the guilloma , the fruit of the guillomo, a little-known bush with some sweet fruits with a very pleasant flavor.
WHERE CAN WE FIND THE GUILLOMO?
Its area of greatest presence are the mountains of the Pyrenees, Pre-Pyrenees, Basque mountains, Cantabrian mountain range, Catalan mountains (towards the coast) and from there descending through the mountainous areas of the east with much less presence.
It is also found with less profusion in the mountains of eastern Andalusia and some of the central system.
Its habitat is rocky or stony terrain, or not very dense forests and we can find it up to 2000 m of altitude
THE CHARACTERISTICS THAT DEFINE A GUILLOMO
It is a shrubby bush that reaches a maximum of about 3 meters in height. It has long flexible reddish branches when young. The leaves are oval, with a slightly serrated edge with a light green tone and somewhat more grayish or matte on the underside.
The flowers have 5 narrow and elongated white petals. They are arranged in small short clusters of about 5 flowers on average (between 3 and 8).
The fruit is slightly globose, similar in color to a blueberry or blackthorn, bluish-black (when very ripe), although without the layer of pruin that the latter usually have. The fruit keeps the calyx visible and carries numerous seeds inside.
This is a slight drawback when eating it. The number of seeds.
The guillomo flowers in spring and sets during the summer. The optimal time for harvesting is usually in late summer, almost into autumn. The fruits gain a lot of sugars towards the end of ripening.
We have to wait until it has a very dark blue color almost black.
WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE GUILLOMAS ONCE THEY ARE HARVESTED?
The guilloma has a high sugar content . Its flavor is very aromatic and somewhat sweet when very ripe.
Hence the reason for the aforementioned late harvest. Although fresh they have a pleasant flavor, the sugars are enhanced if they are allowed to dry (like raisins) once they are picked.