BULLACE PROOF

Discuss sloe gin recipes - and all those secret family variations! Post your questions and replies here if they are about sloes and gin

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Dean
Posts: 11
Joined: 11 Oct 2006, 14:04
Location: New Forest

BULLACE PROOF

Postby Dean » 12 Oct 2006, 08:27

Not a new topic, but a slightly better name.... :shock:

Is there a fool-proof way to distinguish between Bullaces and Sloes :?: not sure what I'm picking.

Ta loads to anyone who can help.

Great site.

TillyBoo
Posts: 57
Joined: 10 Sep 2006, 18:53
Location: Gwynedd, N.Wales

Postby TillyBoo » 12 Oct 2006, 21:44

Taste them :)

Bullace have a sweeter, 'plum-like' taste, and sloes are unbearable sour and instantly dry out your mouth


Hope this helps!

Dean
Posts: 11
Joined: 11 Oct 2006, 14:04
Location: New Forest

Postby Dean » 13 Oct 2006, 09:23

Thanks for that Tillyboo.

They do dry the mouth a wee bit, but are not 'unbearably' sour. Nor are they sweet or plum-like....kind of half n' half....blimey its hard work. Good job I don't eat wild fungus, I'd be dead by now.... :lol:

deadsloeandstop
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Location: High Weald...
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Postby deadsloeandstop » 13 Oct 2006, 09:51

Hello,

Bullace grow on trees, whereas sloes are from a shrub...you should be able to tell just by looking at the plant, although this can be difficult if it's growing amongst lots of other things. Also, the bullace is thorn-free :D ...and the fruit of the bullace seem to hang down, as opposed to sloes, which are much closer to the branch. The fruit of the bullace are also much bigger than sloes, come in a variety of colours and are not as sour....although they are not always sweet... I have acces to sweet, yellow bullace and sourish, sloe-looking, purple bullace

...of all these, the easiest way to check is to see if the source is thorn free :wink:

Cheers,

Dean
Posts: 11
Joined: 11 Oct 2006, 14:04
Location: New Forest

Postby Dean » 13 Oct 2006, 11:50

THORNS - that could be the clincher. There's very few thorns on the plant, but there are definately some. If Bullaces are thorn free, the plant would seem to be a sloe.

The fruit looks just like the pictures posted on the home page here - no variations, no yellow etc. The plant is about 2-3m high and the fruit is bunched and singular, near to the branch....
Still, the fruit is not that bitter. Just a bit tart and mouth drying.... :? sounds alot like your purple bullace.....

Thorns could be the answer.

Sorry to bang on about this, but like to get it right. Thanks loads. Keep up the good work.

(ps. My RHS book says that in Spring a sloe plant will flower before leaf, and bullace after leaf.....)

deadsloeandstop
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Location: High Weald...
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Postby deadsloeandstop » 13 Oct 2006, 14:15

Dean wrote:no variations, no yellow etc.


:oops: Oops, I should have made it clear, the colours are not on the same plant...but different varieties are available. :oops:

Sloe Learner
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Joined: 01 Oct 2006, 18:22
Location: Wiltshire

Postby Sloe Learner » 15 Oct 2006, 10:59

Not sure about Bullace-proof but at least this link gives some idea of differences between Prunus insititia (bullace) and Prunus spinosa (sloe).

Copy and paste this link:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/bullac86.html

The drawing is a little helpful too. I think that taste is best way to tell though. I reckon NOTHING comes close to the taste of a raw sloe!

Hope it helps.
There are only 10 types of people in the world, those who get binary and those who don't.

Lime Candy
Posts: 50
Joined: 23 Sep 2006, 14:20
Location: Birmingham, West Midlands.

Postby Lime Candy » 15 Oct 2006, 11:55

Picked another couple of pounds this morning… but after the discussions on here I again took my camera and had my Alan Titchmarsh head on! I paid more attention to the actual plant rather than just the berries.

Here’s a sloe… small oval berries, sharp thorns, narrow leaves. The plant is part of a hedge and is about 7’ high at its tallest.

Image

Here’s what I’ve been calling a giant sloe… large round berries, no thorns and wider leaves. I thought it did have thorns, but they’re just twig ends, they aren’t sharp. This is a real tree growing within the hedgerow, at its tallest it’s about 15’ high.

Image

And I conducted a scientific tasting in the field (literally!). The sloe was as expected, very acidic and sour. Made my eyes screw right up! But the giant sloe was much sweeter, definitely plum-like. Tasting them together really highlighted how different they are.

So, I think the giant sloes are bullaces! I’m very pleased because both the sloes and bullaces are growing in the same hedgerow, I can harvest from either as the mood takes me! :D

Have now renamed my giant sloe gin to bullace gin! :oops:

Dean
Posts: 11
Joined: 11 Oct 2006, 14:04
Location: New Forest

Postby Dean » 15 Oct 2006, 16:39

G'day all

The photos are particularly handy - my previously unidentifed 'fruit' looks just like the sloe plant Lime Candy has attached - the leaves, branches etc (the bullace leaves appear much larger). So it looks like I've been picking sloes.

Buuuut..they aren't particularly acidic or sour....... :?

Been on the 'botanical' link before - following the link on hydrocyanic acid makes for grim reading.... :shock:

Have gone a bit mad for a first attempt and now made sloe gin (two types), sloe gin chutney (two again), sloe jacks, sloe cider, sloe sherry and about the embark on sloe truffles (some of the aforementioned from a mates ginned sloes)......

Thanks all for the info - very helpful :D

(ps - I thought 'Bullace proof' was quite good.... :shock: )

malty45
Posts: 25
Joined: 06 Oct 2006, 18:20

Postby malty45 » 16 Oct 2006, 19:06

deadsloeandstop wrote:Hello,

Bullace grow on trees, whereas sloes are from a shrub...



We have a blackthorn tree in the garden....a huge great big tree. Definately sloes on there but not many.....its just grown too big....but then Hawthorn is actually a tree too but is recognised as a shrub.

Dean
Posts: 11
Joined: 11 Oct 2006, 14:04
Location: New Forest

Postby Dean » 17 Oct 2006, 09:51

Starting to find lots of interesting variations - have found a sloe bush that has such dense, large, needle sharp thorns that its near impossible to pick the (great) sloes.

50 yards further and the next sloe bush has very few thorns...

Have also now definately found bullaces.

Lime Candy
Posts: 50
Joined: 23 Sep 2006, 14:20
Location: Birmingham, West Midlands.

Postby Lime Candy » 12 Nov 2006, 16:42

I've just conducted a sneaky taste test of my various different batches of sloe/bullace gin. :D

The sloe gin started in late September is coming along really well, the taste is already outstandingly good but can only improve in these last few weeks before Christmas! And interestingly, the bullace gin started in early-mid October made from what I originally thought were giant sloes (see photos in this thread) tastes EXACTLY the same as the sloe gin. :D The colour is identical too.

So next year I might bypass the sloes altogether and only pick the bullaces - picking them takes about a tenth of the time as picking sloes, and there are no thorns!

sloe flo
Posts: 1
Joined: 13 Oct 2006, 14:51
Location: London

whoops!

Postby sloe flo » 12 Dec 2006, 12:03

it seems that sloe poke and i have fallen foul of the evil :twisted: professor bullace. we have about 14 pints on the go. :wink: we used the standard blackthorn recipe for all of it. is it going to be any good? :oops:

Lime Candy
Posts: 50
Joined: 23 Sep 2006, 14:20
Location: Birmingham, West Midlands.

Postby Lime Candy » 12 Dec 2006, 18:44

Well, sloeflo, I've made some using sloes, some using bullaces, and some using a mixture (sloes nad bullaces picked from the bushes/trees in the above photos). At the most recent tasting (last Sunday) there was NO DIFFERENCE between the all-sloe and the all-bullace batches.

Lime Candy
Posts: 50
Joined: 23 Sep 2006, 14:20
Location: Birmingham, West Midlands.

Postby Lime Candy » 19 Oct 2007, 21:53

Just caught up with the sloe.biz forum, and wanted to report back that last year's sloe vs bullace contest ended in a dead heat - basically nobody could tell the difference! :lol:

Wanted also to bump this topic because it has photos in, might help some people to identify what they're actually picking.


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