Coming up Cloudberries

An edible amber-coloured berry that grows best in arctic tundra and tastes best on pancakes.


Cloudberry Swedish pancakes

An edible amber-coloured fruit that grows best in arctic tundra and tastes best on pancakes

You may recognise this antioxidant little berry from the Finnish €2 coin or the Scottish Highlands when you hiked ”Beinn nan Oighreag” (meaning Hill of Cloudberries) but . . . if you haven’t heard of it - don’t fret, because neither had I.

This fruit, a distant relative of raspberries and blackberries, is regularly found in acidic soil and is most commonly eaten in cold climate countries. It tends to grow in mountainous regions, and prefers the likes of: Japan, Nordic countries, the Scottish Highlands, Greenland, and northern Canada. Basically if this berry had an Instagram account, it’d be followed by all the major adventure photographers and be the coolest traveller going. Maybe there’s an idea in this . . . (I’ll keep you posted).

As the most sought after berry in Sweden, this delicacy is used to mark special occasions in Swedish culture. Because cloudberries are so coveted, and not to mention faffy, Swedes tend to buy them frozen or as jam, known as Hjortronsylt. Much like cranberries, they tend to be tart in flavour and therefore taste divine when preserved with some sugar, in a jar. A little fun fact for you: when Thomas did a ski season in Fernie, Canada, he took a jar with him to remind of home. That jar didn’t last long, as it quickly made him friends but left him wishing he had brought two so that he too could have had the taste of Sweden.

To properly experience cloudberry jam, we took to the kayaks and headed out for a dinner of Swedish pancakes on an island, with a Trangia stove. As we do! We had a feast of fruit filled pancakes first, each person having two of those, followed by a savoury creamy mushroom one for dessert. Just cause you can. It’s pannkakor for dinner, do what you want! Nordic pancakes are much like French crépes in the sense that the toppings are the feature and the pancake itself is more of a vessel. Like the traditions of Shrove Tuesday in the UK, where they use all perishable ingredients before their fasting period, these pancakes are great to use up any remaining food. Our recipe uses beer (or anything fizzy) to make them extra fluffy and crispy, but milk works too if you’ve already drank all your booze ;) The batter is measured in deci-litres (dl) and can be simply recreated on your trip using the larger measuring cup provided in your kitchen box, which equals 1 dl. One last tip, Swedish summer can be summed up by two ingredients: strawberries and cream, so don’t forget to order both to make another variation of cloudberry "pannkakor" in the archipelago.

Wild camping Swedish pancake recipe

2 1/2 dl of any milk
1 1/2 dl of beer

– mix with –

2 dl of flour
A bit of salt

– then add –

2 eggs

Mix in the order above and then pour the batter into a preheated and buttered frying pan. Eat with everything ;)