Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Haskap Berries

It was one of those days at National Nutrition...

A handful of staff members got called to the boardroom, and just when we started to think we were in trouble, out comes a big brown box, forks, and drinking glasses.
While everyone seemed confused, it's wasn't long before these products [pictured below] took over the boardroom table, and we were ooh-ing and awe-ing over something new.

But, before we go any further – have you ever heard of a Haskap berry?
By the confused look on your face (one that mirrored some of ours) we're guessing that's a no. Well, a haskap berry, which comes from the haskap plant (naturally, of course) originated in Siberia. However, its seeds were said to be carried by birds over to the most Northern island of Japan, where the first commercial Haskap industry was born. The people of the island, Hokkaido, refer to this fruit as, 'Nature's little present at the end of the branch'. It's an inch-long elongated blueberry, to put it simply, but before you go thinking it tastes like a blueberry, we're about to rock your world for a second time. Their unique taste is a combination between a raspberry and a blueberry with a hint of elderberry – something that was an initial shock to some of our staff members when they first tried it. You know that feeling when you see a blueberry, then you pop it in your mouth, and it doesn't taste like just a blueberry. That's what happened

Taste Testing Extravaganza
Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, it was good. We started with a toast and a cheers, as we raised our glass filled with Haskap juice. As you can see, it's very dark in colour and has the same potency as you'd expect. But, to our better judgement, was not bitter. As we each discussed the tastes and scents of the juice, we nibbled on some dried haskap berries. While they appear dark in colour like currents (or blueberries), they have a very sweet taste to them, one that would actually be quite pleasant in your morning oatmeal. One thing that surprised us with the dried haskap, was how 'un-dry' they were. In fact, they were quite juicy. They were not too dehydrated like some people claim of goji berries. As we sat there discussing them, we couldn't believe how easy they were to snack on. We must have demolished an entire bag in minutes. Next, our third and final tasting (the item we used the forks for) was the haskap jamu. Within seconds of trying the jamu, staff members were shouting out what they'd use it for. And no wonder, it was delicious. Sweet, smooth, and clearly, they would make the perfect addition to anything you have the imagination for. 

The Goods
Who doesn't love a fruit that is said to bring long life and good sight? While little research has been made about this berry, ones that have been done show significant potential health benefits. They contain extremely high levels of anthocyanins, vitamin C and other antioxidants. We predict they'll be the next big thing. 

Where did these products come from?
Haskapa - it's a Canadian company located in Nova Scotia that wants to define the Haskap industry in this great Country of ours – and at first sample, we're impressed. Check them out:

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