Juniper Berries Juniperus communis, Italy - Buy exquisite spices in our spice shop
The juniper comes from the evergreen juniper tree (Cupressaceae), which belongs to the cypress family. This tree can grow up to 12 meters in height. It produces male (yellow and conical) and female (green and roundish) flowers, which yield the blue juniper berries every two years at different times.
Aroma and taste
Juniper Berries have a warm, woody-resinous, slightly sweetish aroma. They are strongly associated with the flavor of gin and have a slightly hot taste. Since the 17th century, juniper berries have been used in Holland for gin production.
Juniper berries are an essential ingredient in kitchens across Europe and Russia, where they are used to enhance rustic and greasy dishes such as deer or wild boar. The berries can be used whole, ground, or crushed. Crushed juniper berries add a delicate, sweet contrast to the intense flavor of game meat.
Juniper is a versatile spice and is commonly found in spice blends and pickles. In Scandinavia, it is used as a pickling spice for moose meat, imparting a delicate flavor. Here are some traditional uses of juniper berries:
- In Germany, France, and Austria, the berries are combined with cumin to make sauerkraut.
- In Switzerland, juniper berries are used to make a spread called Latwerge.
- They are used to enhance meat pies, terrines, lamb, and rabbit dishes.
Mixture for Meat Making
To create a meat marinade, place juniper berries, garlic, and salt in a mortar and pound them together. Then rub the mixture onto your roast (pork, game, lamb). For lamb and pork, I recommend adding rosemary.
Pairing with other spices
Juniper berries complement a variety of other spices, including wild rosemary, savory, marjoram, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, pepper, salt, and caraway.