Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

oleaster Elaeagnus angustifolia, bears fruits which are eaten in Turkey and other Mediterranean countries.

The fruits are about the size of an olive (hence an alternative name ‘Russian olive’) and are usually marketed after being dried, when they are a pale brown and look something like small dates. Iddison (1994) writes:

The skin is thin and papery and peels off easily to reveal the buff-coloured, soft, mealy flesh which induces thirst. It is sweet with a flavour reminiscent of medlar and the flesh clings to the stone which is ribbed and striped brown. They are not used in cooking these days but their flesh was used in bread and also fermented to make a drink.