Aronia refers to any variety of the common grapefruit-like fruits bearing the name. It is a drupe, an apple-green flesh with smooth skin. Its scientific name is “Rosa Frutescens.” Aronia is part of the shipwright’s apple family and is native to Eurasia, North America, and parts of South America. A true aroma is a round fruit about an inch long and with brownish black to yellowish green leaves.
A related plant, the black chokeberry, Aronia berry, is also known as the black chokeberry. The difference between these two varieties lies in the way in which they are obviated. In the former, the stem is completely dislodged leaving a new branch on the top of the old trunk. In the latter, the stem remains intact but the newer branches grow out of the base of the old trunk.
A large variety of aronia is grown in the eastern north America. Aronia excels as a source of carbohydrates, protein, minerals and vitamins. Aronia is used both as a vegetable and a spice. It has been used in Mexican cuisine as a flavoring for meats, fish, poultry and dairy products. It has an earthy flavor that some find quite delicious.
Because the fruit is of the tropical-type species, it is considered a pest by many farmers in the east. On the whole, it has a high tolerance to adverse conditions such as poor soil, shade, heat, frost, disease, etc. The main threat to the eastern north American arena crops is from birds and insects. The chokeberry was a primary threat to the crop in southeastern United States and also to the entire crop in the lower 48 states.
When buying wholesale or retail produce, it is important to make sure that you are buying real, fresh aronia berries. It is very easy to get fool fooled by “straws” that look like aronia berries but are not. Straws can be made out of just about anything. They may look like the real thing but they are not certified. The USDA does test all the berries it sells to make sure that they are real so that you don’t end up buying something that is not certified.
Aronia comes from the flower of a large bushy plant with purple flowers and a large root system. The name “aronia” comes from the Greek word meaning “blossom”. It grows best in floodplain areas such as near creeks or ponds. This is one of the few fruits with an edible part, which makes it a popular choice for juicing. You can freeze the aronia pulp from the stems or freeze the entire plant to preserve its nutrients.