Versatile Kran(i)a

Up in the North of Greece, the Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas) tree grows wild. It can be seen all over the countryside of Zagori, (Epirus Greece). The tree is known locally as krania (κρανιά). The wood is very strong and used for shafts on walking sticks/shepherd’s crooks and for traditional stick-on-chain door knockers seen throughout the region.

The fruit from the tree is called krana and is used for making jams and infusing into liqueur. The liqueur is particularly popular and you can find it for sale in almost every café (see below from photographs taken in 2018 and 2019).

When we visited last month, krana were ripe and ready for picking.

Krania is a shrub-like tree related to the dogwood and in spring it is said to display yellow forsythia-like flowers. I have never been here at that time of year, so have never experienced it in its flowering phase. Perhaps next spring?



    • Greece is very diverse and worth exploring – from the hot south to the more temperate north. The cornelian cherries would, indeed, make a brilliant chutney. Because of their taste (i.e. tart), they are more like cranberries, but with big pits!


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