One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A small purple-black plumlike fruit.
- ‘There are still strawberries, late and ripe, to go with the wild blackberries; Victoria plums and damsons are easy enough to find and even the odd greengage or two.’
- ‘The beautifully poached damsons, greengages and plums which accompanied them were ambrosial enough to serve on their own.’
- ‘After a brief potted history of the damson, owner Michael Walsh invited the royal guest to sample his damson gin, to which the parched Prince quipped: ‘I thought you would never ask!’’
- ‘Add the brandy and flambé. Add damson purée so that the breasts are lightly coated all over.’
- ‘For a crop of apples, pears, plums, damsons, gages or cherries, which are left outside all year round, try dwarf and pyramid fruit trees.’
- ‘Relishes such as wild cherry and bramble or damson jelly and gin - which goes very well with game - are very popular, too.’
- ‘Whipping up enthusiasm at the Rural Forum as well as a delicious damson syllabub was Cumbrian chef and local food historian John Crouch.’
- ‘In fact, he bought the wood today, but damson picking and jelly making prevented him starting on that project yet.’
- ‘There are damsons in other parts of the British Isles, but the flavour of the smaller Westmorland damson is said to be second to none.’
- ‘Witherslack's Windfall Co-Operative is adding value to the local damson crop by making handmade preserves with fruit from orchards within the parish.’
- ‘Adding cooking apples or damsons will ensure a perfect set in jam or jelly because of these fruits' high pectin levels.’
- ‘Dense damson and winter berry fruits make this an ideal food accompaniment.’
- ‘At this year's festival there'll be damson jam, bottled damsons, wine, gin, beer and syrup, chocolates, ice cream - and even damson bread.’
- ‘Like the cherries, the gin-soaked damsons also retain their stone so that the fruit keeps its shape.’
- ‘The hedgerows are rich with fruit, elderberries, blackberries, sloes, hips and damsons.’
- ‘European-type plums include the prunes and damsons: ‘Italian’ and ‘Stanley’ are two of the most famous.’
- ‘Michaelmas had come, with its fragrant basketfuls of purple damsons, and its paler purple daisies’.’
- ‘Other fruits, such as damsons, apples, pears, and peaches, were also made into marmalades.’
- ‘There was great cheese, baked rice with damson jam and nutmeg and golden syrup pudding.’
- ‘They sat at the small table before the fire and feasted on roast beef, stewed winter vegetables, chunks of fine white bread, and damson preserves.’
- 1.1 A dark purple color.
- ‘Autumnal shades abound, burnished orange; mauve; burnt umber; ochre; sage green and damson, preferably all in the one outfit.’
- ‘Those of you who remember the lime and ginger scheme will be pleased to hear that it has been redone using damson, with gold trimming.’
- ‘Swoop on the remaining bottles of this brilliant discounted sweet damson plum-packed red, 50 per cent garnacha to 50 per cent tempranillo.’
- ‘If it's a winter wedding, could you wear a berry coloured gown, damson or even red?’
- ‘The wine list is long, the ale is real, and the upstairs dining room - all damson walls and wonky polished floorboards - overlooks the town.’
2The small deciduous tree that bears the damson fruit, probably derived from the bullace.
- ‘The fruit of the damson tree is useful only if you like damson jam - but the blossom, which is out right now, is the most lovely sight.’
- ‘The reserve contains the remains of an apple and damson orchard.’
- ‘Britain took a more prominent role than other European countries in developing the cultivation of improved kinds of damson.’
- ‘Whilst ornamental cherries produce no edible crop, the blossom of apples, pears, plums and damsons is usually followed by fruit worth harvesting.’
- ‘IT is damson blossom time in the Lyth Valley and Damson Day is a celebration of this very fact.’
Late Middle English damascene, from Latin damascenum (prunum) ‘(plum) of Damascus’. Compare with Damascene and damask.
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