The lingonberry or cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) belongs to the heather family. The berries grow on low shrubs that prefer acid soils. The cowberry is frost resistent (tolerant of temperatures as low as -22oC) which means it mainly occurs in the northern hemisphere.
Ripe lingonberries are scarlet on the outside and white on the inside with little sap and a number of seeds. They can be harvested twice a year – the first harvest is in July and the second in September/October. Their tart flavour makes them less popular in western Europe, but in Scandinavia, Russia and Poland the berries are eaten as compote with game dishes, for example. The famous Swedish meat balls, Köttbullar, are served with lingonberry jam as a preference.
The berries are rich in flavonoids and vitamin C and as such are considered to boost the immune system. Other healthy components in the berries are vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3 and beta carotene. The fruits also contain minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphate. The leaves are rich in arbutine, which can act as a disinfectant for the urinary tract.
Berrico supplies lingonberries in dried form, sweetened with beet sugar or apple juice concentrate. Our berries are primarily from Poland are are picked at just the right stage of ripeness. Subsequently they are washed, checked and dried. Our lingonberries have a lovely red colour, which makes them great as decorations too.