Rowan trees can be found all over Finland, but have remained an under utilized resource. Rowan has traditionally been a sacred tree in the Finnish folklore, and is believed to protect and bring good luck to the people close by and to its planters. The rowan tree’s holiness is for instance described in the Kalevala as follows: “Holy are the rowan trees in the yard, the rowan trees branches, the leaves on their branches, and holiest are their berries.” Rowan berries are rich in vitamin C, and they have been used to cure arthritis and lung problems, as well as to facilitate digestion. The properties of Rowan wood make it suitable for the household equipment industry and the making of decorative objects.
Rowan berry has also been used for the fabrication of Sorbus wine. It is a traditional aperitive wine, that was made from 1935 until 2010, when it went out of production on grounds of unprofitability. Sorbus is still appreciated in different subcultural circles, where the cessation of its production was greeted with great disappointment.
The purpose of the Foodycle workshop and of the Open Sorbus event series is to rediscover a variety of uses for the rowan berry, as well as to explore and keep trace of its multidimensional cultural history.
During the workshop, we will collect rowan berries and their related cultural history in the form of recipes and stories. We will also prepare sorbus wine which we will then together with the stories leave to its fermentation and further processing. Products made during the workshop will be served later at an event to be held at the Sorbus gallery in Vaasankatu.
Participants are encouraged to bring to the workshop sorbus products, stories and recipes to share.
2013 Sorbus followup, Office on Flickr