Ark of taste
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Backsmultron, known as Najkar in Gotlandic dialect is the berry of the small herb. It is a close relative of the wild strawberries, however having a number of distinctive features making it a berry of its own and in its own right. Whereas the wild strawberry gets signal red upon ripeing, the najkar could still be ivory-coloured or just pale reddish. The berry is usually somewhat bigger than the wild strawberry. Whereas the wild strawberry grows primarily in the forrest or in high and moist grass, the najkar prefers the very typical cultural landscape of Gotland with the limestone up exposed to the air (the "hällmark"). Often sheep have been grazing this lands or are actively grazing it. These lands are usually very dry and could be brownish in colour. Still the najkar are to be found exactly there with its rich flavours combining the wild strawberry with orange, melon and pineapple. Having tried the najkar you would not like to go back to the wild strawberry again, in spite of this being a very fine berry to. When climate change is coming it is unclear how the najkar will be affected. The grazing lands of Gotland by no means could be taken for granted over time. It is thus important to protect this berry and thereby raise the awareness of its gastronomical value. The Gotlandic name najkar refers to the berry not losening from the plant as a wild strawberry would easily do. Instead the berry has to be cleaned from the stem in a second stage. It is this reluctance of letting the berry go that is reflected in the Gotlandic name, literally meaning "saying no".
Najkar has never enjoyed the widespread popularity of most berries. However, it is deeply
appreciated by local people. The culinary use of the najkar is primarily to eat the berry fresh – either as it is picked or in a plate with some cream or creamy milk poured on top. Potentially the berry could also be used for jam and for liqueur.

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Gotlands län

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Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Nominated by:Martin Regner