ORGANIC “CALAFATE” JAM PRODUCED IN PATAGONIA
A DELICIOUS SUPER BERRY ONLY FOUND IN ARGENTINA & CHILE
NO PRESERVATIES, NO CHEMICALS, NO ADDED COLOURS & NO ADDED FLAVOURS
El Calafate (barberis microphylla) is a spiny shrub native to southern Argentina and Chile. It is a perennial shrub, always green. It is considered a symbol of argentine Patagonia, especially in the city of El Calafate.
It can reach 1.5 meters in height and has a very branched trunk from its base. At the base of its leaves it has thorns about 2 cm long and the flowers are hanging and lemon yellow. It flowers generally from October to January.
The fruit, also called calafate, is a blue-black berry 1 cm in diameter that contains angular seeds. It is collected in summer to consume it fresh, to elaborate jams or jellies. A version of a selknam myth speaks of the calafate : anyone who tastes the fruit of this plant always returns to Patagonia.
Berries, a super nutritious food
Usually called “superfood” due to their antioxidant and nutritive properties.
Among this group of small fruits besides calafate, you can also find raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, cherries, blackberries and currants.
They have plenty of health benefits:
–Low caloric value
–Rich in vitamin C, strengthening the immune system
–Rich in vitamin E, helping skin care
-Anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial power
Berries of eternal youth
Berries are a natural antioxidant, that’s why they are so precious. They have a high content of polyphenols that fight and protect the body from free radicals, responsible for the premature aging of cells. In turn, polyphenols have anti-inflammatory, regenerative properties and help prevent degenerative diseases.
The species inhabits from the center-west of Neuquén, an argentine province, until approximately the parallel 45º of South latitude. It grows in elevated areas, of medium elevation and in the interior of the valleys.
The calafate is usually cultivated commercially for its fruits, which have pastry uses in the form of sweets, jellies or syrups. In addition, the fermentation of the fruit can give rise to the calafate wine, a fruity liqueur with a great flavor. Julio Cabana, technician of INTA Calafate in Santa Cruz, explains that by introducing the cultivation of the calafate fruit, it contributes to the conservation of the plant resources of Patagonia, and can subsequently generate new sustainable production options that diversify agricultural activity.
According to Cabana, the high demand of this ancestral product, both for regional products and for medicinal uses, originates the domestication of this wild plant to encourage its cultivation.
The plant has berberine, present in the plants of the genus Berberis, and this compound has an antibacterial effect.
The cooking of the root of the plant purifies the blood and the crushed fruits and mixed with honey are of great help for colds and flu.
The Calafate myth is a story told by the Tehuelches and Selknam, which was adopted in the folklore of Argentina and Chile and tries to explain the origin of the plant.
There are two main versions, one tells the love story between two young people from different tribes and is counted in Argentina and Chile, the other speaks of an old abandoned Tehuelche and is counted only in Argentina.
The Calafate Maiden
The myth tells that a Tehuelche chief had a daughter named Calafate, a beautiful golden-eyed young woman who had always obeyed her father in everything. But things changed when the Calafate clan received a young selknam to be tested among them and overcome the initiation rituals to become a man. Love arose between the two young men and they thought of leaving together despite the fact that the leader opposed this union. The father of Calafate had to ask for help from a shaman, who could not make love end, but keep them separated forever. Thus, Calafate was transformed into a thorny plant that had never before been seen in the region, with golden flowers like the eyes of the young woman. The young man transformed himself into a bird and traveled the region in search of Calafate.
One day he settled on a bush to taste its fruits and realized that they were as sweet as the heart of Calafate. Thus they managed to rediscover themselves.
In Patagonia, this myth is taken and it is said that those who taste the fruits of Calafate will be part of the spell, that is why it is said that those who eat Calafate can not help return to Patagonia.
Organic Calafate Jam 450grs Pot
Produced in El Bolsón, Río Negro, Argentina.