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Food glossary

Juniper berries

Juniper berries

These small dark purple dried berries are well known as the flavouring for gin and other spirits, but they can also be used in cooking. They have a bitter gin-like, peppery taste which develops during the drying process and are especially popular in Italy and France, where they are used in game and meat dishes. You'll find juniper berries with the herbs and spices.

Uses: Juniper berries complement strongly-flavoured meats best. Try them in game, venison and beef casseroles with wine and garlic for a rich. full flavour. They are also included in meat terrines and pâtés. They are also particularly good served with cabbage and are a traditional ingredient in German sauerkraut.

To store: Keep in an airtight container in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight.

To prepare: The berries need to be lightly crushed before using to release their flavour - do this using a pestle and mortar or press them with the back of a spoon in a small bowl.