Fruits - Rakije Šurlan

Fruits

Apricot

Apricot originates from the north of China and Kyrgyzstan, but it was thought for a long time that it originates from Armenia and that is why it is sometimes called Armenian plum. It belongs to deciduous trees, high from 8 to 12 meters. Apricot is cultivated in all areas with warm climate. It is widespread in the Mediterranean region in Europe, but there are also a lot of apricots in California. In our region fresh apricots can be eaten from the beginning of June to the end of September. There are several kinds of apricot that have been obtained through hybridization. It is yellow or orange, usually round, and covered with tiny, almost invisible hairs. Apricot fruit is similar to peach and nectarine. Core of the stone is edible when it’s dried, so apricot belongs to stone fruit. Research has shown that apricot improves brain functions and that it is important for intellectual work. It is ideal fruit for anemic people because of folic acids functions and its richness in cobalt and copper.

Plum

Our national fruit is the reason why we are well known in the world for plum brandy (slivovitz). Plum originates from Asia, and it was well known even in ancient history. Today more than 2500 different plum sorts are cultivated. The most famous sorts are: Bistrica plum, Stanley plum, Cacanka plum, Valjevka plum. Plum has an important place in nutrition because of its richness in vitamins, minerals and plant fibers. Plums are beneficial because they help with psychological discomfort and concentration problems, strengthen heart and immunity, regulate digestion, cleanse the body and remove harmful substances from it, stimulate the liver and improve appetite. Plum is widely used. Besides for the production of rakija, plum is most commonly used for the production of jam, marmalade, juice and slatko (a thin fruit preserve made of fruit or rose petals). It can also be dried or simply eaten fresh as a dessert. When buying plums, you should be certain that the fruit is firm, undamaged and that it has a peduncle.

Pear

As it is sweet and juicy, pear used to be called “gift of the gods”. It belongs to the same family as apple and quince. Depending on the type, pears can be yellow, green, brown or orange and they are good source of vitamin C. Although the fact that fruit should be a part of our everyday nutrition is well known, in comparison to other kinds of fruit there is negligible possibility of getting allergy by consuming pears, so they are considered to be hypoallergenic fruit. High quality rakia is made from pears, and the most famous among them is pear brandy made from sort “William”. “William” has a very big pear-shaped fruit and weighs about 200 to 250 grams. Peduncle is middle-length, strong, woody and a little fleshy at the bottom. The body of the fruit is medium-sized, half-open, with little leaves and a little sunk. Color of the fruit is greenish yellow with little brown dots and has rust brown stains near the peduncle. The flesh is soluble, white-yellow, very aromatic and ripens in August.

Apple

Domestic apple (Malus domestica Borkh) probably has hybrid origin and it originates from central Asia. Its closest type, Malus sieversii, still can be found on the mountains in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and some parts of China at the heights from 1200 to 1800 meters. As roads in this area connected China with Near East and Europe, travelers were probably those who contributed to the spreading of apple outside its homeland.

The first information about cultivation of apple shows that it was cultivated in Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia in the 2nd millennium BC. Apple is one of the most spread fruit in the world and there are more than 10000 sorts. It can be sour or sweet, and according to its shape round, pointed or flat. By colour, apple can be red yellow or green and by smoothness it can be glace or rough. The most famous sorts are: Golden delicious, Jonagold, Idared, Red delicious, Granny Smith…

Quince

Quince originates from south-west Asia, i.e. From Iran and Anatolia, and wild quince appeared in the middle Europe by the name “sidonian pear”. Its colour is golden yellow, and its fruit is firm and has pungent sour taste. Greeks adored it and for them it symbolyzed love and happiness. Most often they used to hollow it out, fill it with honey and then bake it. By the way, in ancient times quince was considered to be a symbol of fertility. It was a tradition that newlyweds eat a quince before their wedding, which would make their marriage fertile and happy.

Quince is very healthful fruit. Its fruit, leaves and stone are medicinal, especially its juice and syrup. Quince is rarely consumed fresh because of its pungency, but it is very tasty when cooked, baked or prepared as compote, jelly, marmalade or fruit porridge. In our country there are two types of quince: “vranjski dunjac” and “leskovacka dunja” and both can be used for making rakija.

Grapes

A grape is a fruit, botanically a berry, of the deciduous woody vines of the flowering plant genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten fresh as table grapes or they can be used for making wine, jam, juice, jelly, grape seed extract, raisins, vinegar, and grape seed oil. Grapes are a non-climacteric type of fruit, generally occurring in clusters. Depending on the species, it may be greenish, pink or bluish. The shape, weight and size of the clusters depend on the variety and environmental conditions.

According to whether the berries in the cluster are popular or spaced, we have more or less clustered clusters. Wine varieties have mostly clustered clusters, while stone varieties, and those combined properties have loose ends.

Grape brandy (Lozovača) is obtained by distillation of the untested fermented grapes of the noble grape vine (Vitis Vinifera) and contains 40-45% vol. of ethanol.

Cherry

Prunus cerasus (sour cherry, tart cherry, or dwarf cherry) is a species of Prunus in the subgenus Cerasus (cherries), native to much of Europe and southwest Asia. It is closely related to the sweet cherry (Prunus avium), but has a fruit that is more acidic. The tree is smaller than the sweet cherry (growing to a height of 4–10 m), has twiggy branches, and its crimson-to-near-black cherries are borne upon shorter stalks.

There are several varieties of the sour cherry: the dark-red morello cherry and the lighter-red varieties including the amarelle cherry, and the popular Montmorency cherry.

The Montmorency cherry is the most popular type of sour cherry. The reason for its popularity is its use in baking and recipe creation, including cherry pies, cherry desserts and other cherry-based recipes.

Raspberry

Raspberry is a bush which originates from south-east Europe. It grows along the roads and forests, but more and more frequently it is cultivated in gardens and it is almost as domesticated as apples, pears and plums. Fruit is made up with many red drupes. It is famous for unique aroma which is special mixture of aromas, and its refined delicate sour taste. It is difficult to imitate, keep and conserve its aroma.

Raspberry is highly valued plant all over the world, first of all because of its irresistible appearance, flavor and smell and also because of its healthful features. This berry fruit is so sweet and has very few calories, which is a good reason to enjoy it completely. One portion of raspberries of 150 grams has less than 60 kcal and less than 10 grams of carbohydrates. Fruit extract has anti-virus effect. Besides, it stimulates pancreas to produce insulin, so it lowers the level of blood sugar. It is also used in food industry and of course for our new liqueur.

Honey

Honey is the most wonderful natural product. It contains almost all components that make human body. Nectar from flowers is the basic source of carbohydrates which bees transform into fructose and glucose and they are basic ingredients of honey. Bees produce honey in their little bodies and they give us wonderful natural elixir which should always be found in kitchens and used in nutrition.

Variety of herbal ingredients in honey stimulates and strengthens our immune system and makes us resistant to diseases. Honey is rich in many vitamins and minerals that are necessary for maintaining good health. They include iron, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, chromium and selenium. It also contains amino acids, necessary for living. Raw honey is full of enzymes. They are responsible for regeneration and health of cells, food absorption and all biological processes in our bodies. Honey doesn’t have any negative effects.