The Nire Valley

The Nire Valley
The Heart of the Comeragh Mountains.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Whorts and fraocháns.

If you are out on the mountain this time of year you will come across whorts also called fraocháns or bilberries. These delightful black berries with a shimmer of electric blue are in full season. They are a real treat on the mountain.
Whorts were once picked on a commercial basis and in 1941 Ireland exported almost 400 tons (CSO) of the berry to Britian.
Michael J. Conry's book "Picking Bilberries, Fraocháns and Whorts in Ireland" goes into great detail on the commercial and socio-economic importance of the crop. Michael interviews many people who picked whorts in the Comeraghs, Knockmealdowns, Galtys and Slievenamon.
For me I love to pick them with wild raspberries, then blend both berries separately and pour the resulting syrup over a slice of vanilla ice-cream. Magic.
Whorts growing in the Nire Valley.

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