“Sea buckthorn is actually a new thing for me. I wasn’t aware of it and all its amazing qualities until quite recently. I began by using it in our skincare – in the Rudolph Sun products – but it wasn’t until last Christmas that I started using the little berries in my cooking as well.
It’s an interesting berry because it’s so exotic compared with the other fruits and berries that grow wild here in Denmark. It’s incredibly hardy, and I love that it grows in my absolute favourite place – on the bluffs overlooking the sea near my summer house. Sea buckthorn, just like blackcurrant, is jam-packed with Vitamin C and a single berry is said to hold just as much Vitamin C as an entire lemon. However, sea buckthorn tastes sweeter than lemon – a bit tart with a hint of pineapple.
Sea buckthorn is very difficult to pick, but I’ve already picked the first batch, and I will definitely be getting more so I have enough for Christmas. Last year I ended up using sea buckthorn in my Christmas menu by sheer coincidence, and it was a major hit with everyone. I had actually been looking for frozen currants so I could make ‘rysteribs’ (a Danish dish featuring currants macerated in sugar) to go with the roast duck and gravy. It’s a South Jutland tradition to macerate frozen currants with indecent amounts of sugar, then eat it as a sweet-sour accompaniment to the rich Christmas meal. But I couldn’t find any currants, just sea buckthorn, so I took a chance and made the dish with sea buckthorn berries and sugar instead. And it was pretty amazing. Everyone adored it.
When I’m not drowning the berries in sugar, I like to use them in a juice blend or as a berry topping on salads, in place of blueberries. I’ve just bought a cookbook that calls sea buckthorn the ‘lemon of the north’ and it has a recipe for ‘spicy curried chicken with sea buckthorn’. I’ve simply got to try that one.
If you don’t happen to be near a place where you can pick sea buckthorn, have a look in the freezer section of your supermarket.”