On the menu at top Inverness restuarant, Contrast Brasserie, this week we have a mango panna cotta with toasted coconut, toffee popcorn, sea buckthorn sorbet, micro coriander and orange. But what on earth is sea buckthorn?
Sea buckthorn or Hippophae is a deciduous shrubs in the family Elaeagnaceae.
A popular garden and landscaping shrub, its berries are edible and nutritious, though astringent, sour and oily, unpleasant to eat raw, unless 'bletted' (frosted to reduce the astringency) and/or mixed as a drink with sweeter substances such as apple or grape juice.
Besides juice, sea buckthorn fruit can be used to make pies, jams, lotions, teas, fruit wines, liquors and of course sorbets. The juice or pulp has other potential applications in foods, beverages, or cosmetics products. Fruit drinks were among the earliest sea buckthorn products developed in China. Sea buckthorn-based juice is popular in Germany and Scandinavian countries. It provides a nutritious beverage, rich in vitamin C and carotenoids.
Our sea buckthorn sorbet is a real taste sensation - come and try it on this week's set menus!