Saturday, November 16, 2013

Trying Sipak/Rose Hip

This is another fruity post. The day before my purchase and tasting of quince I saw a tree with some type of berries that I had never noticed before. I see berries all the time and so many of them are not eatable that even though I am interested in what they are I sort of just ignore them other than taking a photo.

I was surprised when I saw a label on a jar of marmalade with the picture of the berries that I had just seen in the store.

After seeing the marmalade in the store I kept my eyes open for the possibility of the berries on sale and the same day I found a lady selling them close to the vegetable and fruit market in Ohrid.

I wanted to taste the berries so I picked one up and acted like I was eating it to see if this was ok and I received the impression from the lady that I was just crazy. She gave me no indication if eating this was normal but just the impress that I was a stupid foreigner.

There was no price marked on the berries but I decided I would try and buy some to sample them. I tried to ask how much and she made some hand signs that I did not understand. I tried to hand her pen and paper to see if I could get a price but she seemed to not want to touch the pen or paper and just seemed flustered with this dumb foreigner.

I took out the smallest bill in Macedonian currency and tried to buy 10 lek but she was not interested in this small amount but she did pull over a gentleman that was selling stuff next to her at this point. He also did not speak any English but spoke some German. I am still not sure if his German was not good or it was the fact that I don’t really speak German but we could not really communicate but he was more interested in dealing with a dumb foreigner. With this gentleman’s help I was able to buy a half kilogram of the berries for 30 lek (50 euro cents or $.65).

Now I have this pound of berries that I have no idea if you are supposed to eat or how to eat them. I went for lunch at a place I had eaten a day before where one waiter seemed to speak a bit of English. While at lunch I asked how to eat these things that I purchased. On first inquire I receiver that strange stare that I am so use to of confusion and bewilderment of what is this foreigner asking me. Once he understood what I really wanted he showed me to eat it like corn on the cob. You eat the outside but not either end and not the core. The core is full of hard little seeds.

The waiter told me as I was leaving that it is also good for making tea and I think that he said it is good with honey but this is just a guess because it was more like the Dutch word for honey that he used.

I was not really crazy about the flavor of the outside of berry and do not really know how to describe it. I also spent some time removing the core of some of them and cooked the red part with sugar water but was not impressed with the results or the cooked berry. I did make mint tea with the sugar flavored Sipak water from my cooking attempt and it was really good.

When I was leaving Ohrid I left the pound of Sipak on the table outside of the quest house I was staying in and hoped someone might find a use for these berries that I had not grasped.

I returned to Macedonian about a couple of weeks later and bought some of the marmalade and really like it. My attempts at translation of Sipak came up as pomegranate. I am sure it is not Pomegranates which I also bought in Macedonian.

After writing this I did some more searching on the web and found that the English name for these berries are Rose Hip.


  1. The vitamin C I buy says with Natural Rose Hips. Always wondered what Rose Hips was. Now I know. They look small--take alot to make anything. Carolyn

    1. Well I have never heard of Rose Hip before. Maybe I got my fill of vitamin C but only ate a few so not sure. Have a hard time finding the English name for these things.