Here in London, the rose hips are ripe! They are one of my favourite wild foods, they taste great and if you read my post last year on the subject, you will know that rose hips are full of vitamin C.
There are a couple of indicators of ripeness:
- they go a bit squashy and possibly look a bit wrinkled
- the colour changes, ripe rose hips are a bit less shiny than the hard unripe ones
Rose hips have lots of seeds which are hairy and can be irritating to the throat. After picking, it is possible to pull the end off and squeeze all the seeds out at the same time, although this doesn’t always work. I do find that when they are properly ripe the seeds are not irritating.
Also still around at the moment are hawthorn berries. These taste a bit like avocado and are supposed to be good for your heart.
When picking wild food, always make sure you have the right plant, especially with red berries. With hawthorn berries, check the leaf shape to make sure you have the right tree.