Aronia Berries grow on a deciduous shrub 1 to 3 metres (3 to 10 feet) tall that propagates by seed or root suckers. It has glossy green leaves 2 1/2 to 7 1/2 cm (1 to 3 inches) long which turn red in the fall.
The blossoms of the bush appear in white clusters and last about a week. The subsequent fruit appears in clusters of 8 to 10 berries.
Aronia Berries are about the size of a pea, about 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) wide.
There is a red-skinned variety, and a black-skinned variety (actually dark-violet.) Both varieties are red inside. The red-skinned variety is Aronia arbutifolia var. glabra (aka Photinia pyrifolia.) The black-skinned variety is Aronia arbutifolia var. nigra (aka Aronia melanocarpa aka Aronia nigra aka Photinia melanocarpa), also called "Black Chokeberry."
Aronia Berries are very tart and bitter when eaten fresh out of hand.
Most commercial crops of Aronia berries are now grown in Eastern Europe and Denmark for juice.
Aronia Berries can be preserved whole, or juiced. They are very high in tannins, giving them a very astringent taste. The tannins either need reducing or the fruit needs sweetening. Putting fining materials such as gelatin in the juice will help to filter out some of the tannins.
The juice can be used for wine, jelly, etc.
In North American home use Aronia Berries are mostly used for jams and jellies.
1 pound (450 g) of berries = 2 cups / 16 oz / 500 ml of juice.
You can freeze Aronia Berries and juice them later.
Aronia Berries are native to eastern North America, from Nova Scotia down to Florida.
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