30 seeds Rubus chamaemorus.
Rubus chamaemorus (Greek chamai "on the ground", moros "mulberry") is a rhizomatous herb native to alpine and arctic tundra and boreal forest, producing amber-colored edible fruit similar to the raspberry or blackberry. English common names include cloudberry, bakeapple (in Newfoundland and Labrador), knotberry and knoutberry (in England), aqpik or low-bush salmonberry (in Alaska - not to be confused with true salmonberry, Rubus spectabilis), and averin or evron (in Scotland).
Unlike most Rubus species, the cloudberry is dioecious, and fruit production by a female plant requires pollination from a male plant.
The cloudberry grows to 10–25 cm high. The leaves alternate between having 5 and 7 soft, handlike lobes on straight, branchless stalks. After pollination, the white (sometimes reddish-tipped) flowers form raspberry-sized berries. Encapsulating between 5 and 25 drupelets, each fruit is initially pale red, ripening into an amber color in early autumn.
The ripe fruits are golden-yellow, soft and juicy, and are rich in vitamin C. When eaten fresh, cloudberries have a distinctive tart taste. When over-ripe, they have a creamy texture somewhat like yogurt and a sweetened flavour. They are often made into jams, juices, tarts, and liqueurs. In Finland, the berries are eaten with heated "leipäjuusto" (a local cheese; the name translates to "bread-cheese"), as well as cream and sugar. In Sweden, cloudberries and cloudberry jam are used as a topping for ice cream, pancakes, and waffles. In Norway, they are often mixed with whipped cream and sugar to be served as a dessert called "Multekrem" (Cloudberry cream), as a jam or as an ingredient in homemade ice cream. They may also be added to cakes that may contain marzipan.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, cloudberries are used to make "Bakeapple Pie" or jam. Arctic Inuit mix the berries with seal oil, reindeer or caribou fat (which is diced and made fluffy with seal oil) and sugar to make "Eskimo Ice Cream" or Akutaq. The recipes vary by region. Along the Yukon and Kuskokwim River areas, white fish (pike) along with shortening and sugar are used. The berries are an important resource for traditional foods to the Inuit.
Due to its high vitamin C content, the berry is valued both by Nordic seafarers and Inuit as protection against scurvy. Its polyphenol content, including compounds, such as benzoic acid, appears to naturally preserve food preparations of the berries. Cloudberries can be preserved in their own juice without added sugar, if stored cool.
Cloudberries contain citric acid, malic acid, α-tocopherol, anthocyanins and the provitamin A carotenoid, β-carotene in contents which differ across regions of Finland due to sunlight exposure, rainfall or temperature. The ellagitannins lambertianin C and sanguiin H-6 are also present. Genotype of cloudberry variants may also affect polyphenol composition, particularly for ellagitannins, sanguiin H-6, anthocyanins and quercetin.
Polyphenol extracts from cloudberries have improved storage properties when microencapsulated using maltodextrin DE5-8. At least 14 volatile compounds, including vanillin, account for the aroma of cloudberries.