Celebrations, new publications & products
For more info on stuff below, go to Google!
The long-running Damson Day Country Fair in April, Damson blossom time, in Cumbria’s Lyth Valley continued, with a merry array of food, drink, activities, music and dancing. Next year’s date has been set for Saturday 13 April 2019.
England’s other major Damson celebration, Damson Harvest, invites visitors throughout September to the National Trust’s Brockhamton Estate in Worcestershire, where the PYO opportunities in the splendid Damson orchard are a particular delight.
In a wider celebration of the plum, Pershore’s annual Plum Festival paints the town purple each August. Its promoters have now set up August 11 as National Plum Day.
It’s pleasing to see new initiatives such as the Damson Sunday festival in September in and around a community-run pub at Holbrook, near Belper in Derbyshire.
Get the books!
The first proper book about Damsons was published in June, followed by the second in November!
Damsons : an ancient fruit in the modern kitchen by American academic Sarah Conrad-Guthrie is quite a small, slim paperback that packs a botanical, historical and geographical overview alongside 60 pages of recipes.
Out now in New Zealand is Damson : from hedgerow to harvest, a a 256-page, 55,486 word, 75+ recipe-long love letter to the heirloom English damson plum by gardening broadcaster and writer Lynda Hallinan.
Expect reviews here shortly!
Despite the ever-rising range of other fruity flavoured gins etc popping up on shop shelves, Damsons keep on featuring in new beverages. New (to me anyway!) in 2018 were
Coxys Kent Liqueur : Spiced Damson Shrub – non-alcoholic fruit, cider & vinegar cocktail syrup
Magic Rock Sour Damson IPA beer from Huddersfield
Badger Beers Cranborne Poacher from Dorset
Spirit of Ilmington Damson Gin from Warwickshire
Riverside Damson Gin from Warrington
Copper Rivet Distillery Dockyard Cantia Damson wine with Gin from Kent
Boyles Irish Sloe & Damson Gin Liqueur
Isaac Road Brewing Damson & Gin from York (at 44 The Shambles)
Salcombe Gin’s Guiding Star limited edition Sloe & Damson Gin
Heavenly Hedgerows Damson Liqueur from between Bristol and Bath
Constantine Damson Gin from Cornwall
Ramsbury Distillery limited edition Damson Vodka Liqueur from Wiltshire
One Tree limited edition (only 40 bottles!) Damson Gin from a single tree by Mothers Ruin
Fordington Gin Christmas Cheer Gin from Dorset
Addingham Damson Gin Liqueur from West Yorkshire
Marks & Spencer Sparkling Plum, Damson & Juniper Pressé
Art In The Age Black Walnut & Damson Cordial from Philadelphia’s Tamworth Distillery
Food featuring Damsons – new (to me!) this year
Lillypuds Plum Pudding with Damson Gin from Chelmsford
Damson Fruit Cheese from Claire’s Handmade in Wigton, Cumbria
Cartmell Farm Foods Damson Ketchup and Chilii & Damson Ketchup from Cumbria
Old Dover Road Heritage Damson Jam from Blackheath, London
Hubble Kea Plum Jam from Cornwall (almost Damsons!)
Lancashire Cheese & Damson Jelly Parcels (12 for £7) – hand-wrapped filo pastry parcels filled with traditional Lancashire cheese and Hawkshead Relish damson jelly, from Northern supermarket Booths
Right – now to get that Damson Gin decanted and the boozy Damsons chopped into chocolates!
23 December 2018