Sage Apple Galls

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Joanna Savage

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Sage Apple Galls
« on: March 09, 2016, 05:52:09 AM »
Tournefort, 17th century botanist. Theoldfoodie.com blog refers to Tournefort's decscription of a preserve made from the galls of a grey leaved scented plant growing in the eastern  mediterranean area. The galls may be caused by insect bites. It sounds as though the plant might have been larger than the usual Salvia, although I see that that there is a Salvia pomifera which could be so called because of apple galls.
Have any forum members ever heard of, or made such a preserve? It sounds as though it would need a lot of galls to make a spoonful.

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JTh

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Re: Sage Apple Galls
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2016, 10:19:09 AM »
The galls are actually not that small, Salvia fruticosa produces quite large galls. According to Wikipedia: 'In its native habitat, it frequently develops woolly galls about 1 inch in diameter which are called 'apples'. These 'apples' are peeled and eaten when they are soft, and are described as being fragrant, juicy, and tasty.The formation of galls was originally thought to be limited to Salvia pomifera,[13] which led to the misidentification of many gall-bearing Salvia fruticosa plants. In 2001 it was discovered that the galls on Salvia fruticosa were caused by a previously undiscovered genus of Cynipid gall wasp.'

I haven't tasted them myself, but I have a photo from Crete taken two years ago.

P4100638 Salvia fruticosa gall.jpg
by Jorun Tharaldsen, on Flickr
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

Joanna Savage

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Re: Sage Apple Galls
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2016, 07:10:54 AM »
Thank you for the photo Jorun. Last week I had tried to open an oak apple gall from a tree here. It needed an axe to cut it, so the idea of an edible gall on Salvia seemed bizzarre.

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Alisdair

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Re: Sage Apple Galls
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2016, 09:12:35 AM »
Our Greek mason Ilias (who says they are delicious raw) says it's important to snap them off in spring while they're still plump and soft and the tiny larvae inside are still active; he couldn't persuade me to try them, though.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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Fleur Pavlidis

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Re: Sage Apple Galls
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2016, 09:20:55 AM »
What did he do with the larvae?
MGS member, Greece. I garden in Attica, Greece and Mt Goulinas (450m) Central Greece

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JTh

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Re: Sage Apple Galls
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2016, 01:55:48 PM »
Eating the larva in this 'apple' can't be worse than eating dried figs or figs from wild fig trees, which are pollinated by the fig wasp. There is a nice article about 'Humans as fig eaters' here: http://www.figweb.org/Frugivores/humans.htm
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

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Charithea

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Re: Sage Apple Galls
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2016, 07:38:56 AM »
Jorun thank you for the article. Just read it. Very informative for someone like me that eats fresh and dried figs. Up to now no signs of ill health! Also many thanks for all the other 'sites' you have being putting on the forum.
I garden in Cyprus, in a flat old farming field, alt. approx. 30 m asl.