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The fruit is completely inedible off the branch. It has, completely contradictory to good sense, be allowed to rot a bit. This process has the wonderful name of ‘Bletting’. Usually, the fruit was allowed to hang through several frosts, until it had gone pulpy, or ‘Bletted’. Then it could be used. A gardener at a job I once worked at, looking after an old manor house, showed me this. He indeed, called them ‘Cats’ arses.’ Quite a lot of British wild fruit needs to be bletted before it can be used, in fact.