dried, whole fruit with stone
Sloe, or Black Thorn is small tree, or large bush,native to Europe, Western Asia, and NW Asia, that has also naturalized in North America and New Zealand.
The name Prunus spinosa refers to the characteristic spur shoot thorns.
The mean thorns are one reason why this shrub has become a popular livestock hedge plant over past centuries. The dense thickets also provide wildlife shelter, that bears nourishing fruits in fall.
The use of sloe berries by humans can be traced as far back as to the iceman Oetzi, dated 3300 BC, whose frozen body's, preserved in a glacier, in Austria, had sloe berries contents in his stomach.
The tart and astringent sloe berries are the base for many regional European ports, gin, wines and distilled spirits, such as Sloe Gin in England, Pacharán in Spain, Prunelle in France, Bargnolino in Italy, Schlehengeist or Schlehenbrand in Germany.
Sloe berries contain Vitamin C, organic acids, tannins & sugars .The sugars are visible as a glaucous, crystalline coating on the dried berries.
Soaked in water first, the flesh of the berries is consumed to alleviate constipation.
Just like Almonds,Apricots, Peaches, Plums and Apples, the stones/pits inside Sloe berries naturally contain traces of Amygdalin which is a bitter cyanogenic glucocide, a poisonous substance, and consumption of the pits/stones should be avoided for that reason.