Aronia Berries: The Chili's Secret Ingredient

Posted by Scott McKenzie on 10/9/2015 to Aronia Berry Recipes
Aroniaberry Chili

The Aronia Berry or North American Chokeberry has a number of health benefits that we have alluded to in many of our previous blog posts. But did you know that this little purple berry is also a highly versatile ingredient that can be utilized in many culinary adventures? 

I must confess, with a background in the culinary arts I have a certain penchant for experimentation in the kitchen. I tend not to measure ingredients preferring to do it simply by taste and I have an adventurous flair when it comes to adding ingredients that border on the more exotic. 

I was brewing up a pot of my special vegetarian chili for a number of guests when my wife stepped into the kitchen, opened the freezer and lifted the familiar purple bag of Superberries Frozen Aroniaberries from within. The wheels began to turn as I watched her pour a handful of choke berries into her yogurt. What if I added aronia berries into the chili, I asked myself. How would the chili change with the addition of aronia? What would it taste like? Would it change the texture? 

I posed these questions to my wife and received the same response I generally receive. “Would it honestly matter if I said “no”?” 

My wife, good sport that she is, handed me the bag without my even asking. She shook her head and walked away.  I chuckled softly as I lifted the lid from the soup, opened the purple bag and began pouring choke berries into my chili. The golden red color of the soup changed to a deep purple after a number of minutes. 

After simmering for about thirty minutes, I decided to sample my newest concoction and was surprised by the rich, boldness of the taste. The aronia berry had actually enhanced the chili and brought out the flavors of the ingredients in a way that I had never before experienced. Needless to say I was impressed and quite excited by this discovery. I called upon my official “taste tester” and was given a less than enthusiastic reply to my summons. I ladled a small sample into a bowl and my wife’s eyes widened in surprise at the first taste. She immediately gave the dish a huge “thumbs up”. 

The chili, needless to say, was a resounding hit at the party and a topic of conversation given its unique appearance. A number of people asked for the ingredients and were surprised by the addition of two cups of aronia berries. It gave me an opportunity to speak on the health benefits of this powerful antioxidant and it also gave me the opportunity to spread the word on the versatility of this wonderful Superfood.   

Click here for Aroniaberry Chili Recipe

Aronia Fun Fact: The Native Americans used the aronia berry/chokeberry to tenderize their meats.