Aronia berries, also known as chokeberries, are becoming more and more common in home gardens. Because the pea-sized fruits of the deciduous shrubs contain many valuable ingredients when they are harvested ripe.

According to the calendar

In general, the harvest time for aronia berries is between mid-August and mid/late September. Within Germany, the chokeberry harvest begins a little earlier in the south. The healthy berries in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg can already have reached the right degree of ripeness by the beginning of August. In the Central German and North German areas, the harvest time begins a little later.

However, since the weather does not always keep to the calendar, you should expect the harvest to start late if it rains in the summer. On the other hand, if it is dry and sunny, the berries can be harvested earlier.

While the start of the harvest ultimately depends on the weather in summer, you can almost determine the end of the harvest season yourself. Because chokeberries stay on the bush until December and become sweeter and sweeter as they ripen. You get the highest sugar content, i.e. the sweetest fruit, if you harvest the berries after the first frost.

Note: If the aronia berry stays on the bush longer, it can get a shriveled appearance. However, this has no negative impact on the taste.

After fruit ripening

Aronia berries should only be harvested when they are fully ripe

  • they do not ripen
  • they then taste best and
  • the valuable ingredients are only contained in fully ripened fruits.

There are various indications for recognizing the ripe chokeberries:

  • dark red colored stalk
  • easy picking of the berries
  • smooth, plump surface of the aronia berries
  • dark purple, almost black color

While these clues are helpful, they are sometimes ambiguous. If you want to be on the safe side, you should look to the birds for orientation. Because they like to eat the ripe chokeberries. On the other hand, you can carry out the so-called knife test:

  • pick a few berries from different parts of the bush
  • Cut in half with a knife

If the flesh of the aronia berries is completely dark red in color, they are ready to be harvested. In addition, when tasting the berries, if the inside is the right color, you will taste a sweet, slightly tart and intense aroma.

You can also measure the degree of ripeness of the aronia berry. To do this, the sugar content of the berry is checked using a refractometer by dripping some fruit juice onto the measuring surface of the device. If the so-called Brix value is 18 percent or more, the chokeberries are ripe.

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