Gathering your own juniper berries.

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redzed
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Gathering your own juniper berries.

Post by redzed » Thu Jul 05, 2012 22:50

Many sausage recipes include juniper berries in the ingredients. Do any of you gather your own berries for this purpose? Can anyone suggest the suitable varieties, especially those found in the Pacific Northwest? When is the best time to harvest them?
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Post by Cabonaia » Thu Jul 05, 2012 23:03

I've often wondered that myself, as I've tossed good looking ones whilst chopping wood. This site might help, though it doesn't mention the Northwest in particular: http://www.moscowfood.coop/garden/junipers.html

I bought some berries online at this site, which has free shipping on orders over $10. Not bad.
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Post by ssorllih » Fri Jul 06, 2012 01:35

Yes, I gather juniper berries. The best ones and easiest to gather are from the ornamental junipers in residential landscaping. Many shrubs locally called juniper aren't true juniper. Check the taxonomy. Some cypress berries look a lot like juniper berries but lack the smell and taste.
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Post by Cabonaia » Fri Jul 06, 2012 02:28

Redzed - Just realized I did not attach the URL I mentioned: http://www.myspicesage.com/

But they don't ship free to Canada...sorry. Hope you find some good berries to pick. Let me know if it works out.

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Post by redzed » Fri Jul 06, 2012 19:34

Strangely enough, none of the vendors selling Juniper berries as a spice identify the species of the juniper genus. My internet research determined that the variety used in the Polish and German sausage recipes is the common juniper (Juniperus communis). It does grow here on Vancouver Island so I will be on the lookout for it when hiking. The berries from the Rocky Mountain Juniper and the Creeping Juniper can also be used, and are also found here.
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Post by Devo » Fri Jul 06, 2012 20:34

In case you don't find any here is a place in your neck of the woods or close to it.

Stuffers Supply Company:
22958 Fraser Highway,
Langley,
British Columbia,
V2Z 2T9
Canada

http://estores.wws5.com/stuffers.com/we ... MIWIBEJUN1
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Post by redzed » Sat Jul 07, 2012 01:08

Thanks Dev, my post was all about picking my own berries, and I am already a Stuffers Supply client. I get my casings, cure and spices from them. Their prices are very competitive so I don't need to search for these items anywhere else. I do a lot of hiking, shrooming and berry picking, so I don't anticipate any problems finding juniper berries. Besides, when using them in sausage, you need only a small amount. I will post my efforts when I incorporate them into one of my batches.
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Post by redzed » Wed Jan 09, 2013 07:20

Despite the fact that I spend a lot of time in the forest hiking and shrooming, I had no luck this fall in finding nice ripe juniper berries on Vancouver Island. I ended up ordering some German berries from Stuffer's. So today, while on a hike in the Arizona mountains, I was happy to collect a nice batch of berries from the Alligator Juniper. But now I have found conflicting information as to their suitability. Some websites claim that they are edible but too bitter to use, and others recommend them for human consumption. Nowhere did I find any reference to using them in the meat smoking process.

Can anyone advise?
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Post by ssorllih » Wed Jan 09, 2013 15:25

Bite into one and determine how you like it. I gather juniper berries from the ornamental junipers in my neighborhood.
Ross- tightwad home cook
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