Lingonberries collected in the wild are a popular fruit in northern, central and eastern Europe, notably in Scandinavia, the Baltic states, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. In some areas they can legally be picked on both public and private lands in accordance with the freedom to roam.

The berries are quite tart, so they are almost always cooked and sweetened before eating in the form of lingonberry jam, compote, juice, or syrup. The raw fruits are also frequently simply mashed with sugar, which preserves most of their nutrients and flavor and even enables storing them at room temperature (in closed but not necessarily sealed containers), but in this condition, they are best preserved frozen. Lingonberries served this way or as compote often accompany game meats and liver dishes. In Sweden and Norway, caribou and deer steak is traditionally served with gravy and lingonberry sauce. Lingonberry preserve is commonly eaten with meatballs and potatoes in Sweden and Norway, and also with pork.

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1 lingonberry photo
1 lingonberry recipe