Pacific Dogwood Fruit

I have a puzzle — what do I do with these:

pacific dogwood fruit

Since I am focusing on a 100 Mile theme this month, I thought it would be interesting to highlight my own backyard!

This summer we moved into a home with a beautiful yard. The original owner of the home had put real care and detail into the landscape and flora. We’ve seen at least one unusual plant blooming every week. One of them is a humongous pacific dogwood tree that was blooming white around the time we arrived.

By now it’s a slightly different shade & story. This pacific dogwood tree is bearing the gorgeous red fruit you see above! The fruit went from green, to yellowish orange, to an almost coral red. It has a pretty crazy texture but still looks like a berry, making it hard not to taste! Just today they started falling from the tree.

It is edible but not very palatable, as aptly described by its Wikipedia entry. The skin is slightly bitter. The pulp is like a ripe pear, but with an almost bitter after-taste. My problem is: what do I do with these?

I’ve brought up the issue of unharvested fruit trees in our neighborhood on my Flickr, and now this. It bothers me to not do something with it. I’ve heard this fruit is valued for it’s medicinal properties in the Chinese and other Asian cultures. I could make a jam/preserve out of it, but is it worth it when the flavor isn’t all that great? It’s going to take a lot to make something like this taste good.

I could use it as a decor item, or try to mash ’em into a preserve. Any suggestions? I would love to hear from anyone who has experience with this fruit or who knows someone who has used it. I’ll post a follow-up if I ever figure out what to do with these pacific dogwood fruits!

Here are the photos of the pacific dogwood through the seasons.