Juniper berry

Juniper berry

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From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

The flavour of ripe juniper berries is sweet, aromatic and rather like pine because they contain elements of turpentine. Juniper berries are used to flavour gin and other spirits. In fact, it is considered that 6–8 of these berries soaked in a marinade for a long time – or cooked slowly in a stew – give a seasoning equivalent of 60 ml gin.

Juniper berries are used in marinades for wild boar, pork and venison, in stuffings for chicken and other small birds, and in pâté. In Germany, juniper berries are a common flavouring for Sauerkraut, and in Britain they are used in the curing of country hams.

The berries are usually crushed before use. They go well with herbs – parsley, thyme, fennel, marjoram, bay and garlic – as well as with brandy or port, and with other spices when used in meat dishes. The berries may be bought dried – look for ones that are still plump.

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