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Juniper berries??

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Does anyone know where to get them? I tried an Austrian dish without it and it seems a bit flat.. i wonder how the juniper berries taste like and where can i find them?

Please help

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  1. Juniper berries are the slightly bitter fruit that are the basis for gin. I've never seen them fresh, as they usually come dried. You might find them in some places that carry expanded spice lines, but you'd be more certain of finding them at Harvet Wagon on Yonge at Summerhill (or the Eglinton location); or the Spice Trader on Queen west. You might have some luck at St Lawrence, but I don't know which place in particular might carry them. The flavour is unique, and can be overpowering, so add them to taste. Enjoy!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Snarf

      several places at the St. Lawrence Market carry them- downstairs in the south market you can find them packaged (can't remember the name of the place, but it's where they sell lots of spices). They are almost always dried- which is perfect for cooking.

    2. Most large grocery stores carry them. Bulk food too. Not really that hard to find.

      1. I looked for them forever and finally found them at Pusateri's. That was about a year ago.

        1. I'm sure that you can find them in Kensington at that spice store on the NE corner of Baldwin and Augusta.

          1. I buy mine at Bruno's, in the spice section. Juniper berries are worth seeking out - they especially work well in meat dishes. I've always wondered if I could use the berries (it's actually a cone) from the junipers in my yard. My understanding is only some varieties are suitable for cooking and not knowing which is which, I end up buying them...

            1. Pick fresh ones from any juniper bush, above dog-pee & slush height. Rub between fingers to sample aroma, as occasional shrubs have berries of unattractive flavour. I keep some extras in an individual-serving jam jar where, even tightly sealed, they'll dry out within a few months, but remain very flavourful crushed into red wine marinades for venison or beef.

              4 Replies
              1. re: beach_cook

                Scheffler's Deli at the St. Lawrence Market often has them, as does Whole Foods.

                1. re: beach_cook

                  Unless you're an arboruist or really know your trees, picking you own could be risky as some vaieties of junipr and juniper look-a-likes (ie.yews) can produce toxic or poisonous berries

                  1. re: Finnegan

                    None that I know of are toxic to touch. As I said, rub between fingers to sample aroma. I can't think of any berry that smells like juniper that is toxic to consume, esp as an extract. And yes, all parts of yew are toxic (except the soft red part of the berry), BUT neither the dark green smooth foliage nor the bigger bright-red berries resemble juniper in appearance or aroma. Compare pictures at top right of www.the-tree.org.uk/BritishTrees/yew.htm, and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juniper_berry.

                  2. re: beach_cook

                    I can smell the aroma just opening my front door where the tallest Juniper I have ever seen towers before me. I didn't know the berries were edible. Thank you for your suggestion to pick them and keep them in a jam jar and that they can be used even when dry. I don't want to compete with the birds in this snowy whether however. The winter robins cannot get enough of them it seems.

                  3. Agree on the downstairs of SLM. Also, any Eastern European food shop/deli would likely have them. I believe there are a few on Queen W, including The Prague.

                    1. In London Ontario I had the same problem when I looked for them for sauerbraten! Not even Club House/McCormick"s sell them nor knew where to find them. I Finally found them at Alicia's fine foods a large Polish/German delicatessen. Ask for "Jalowiec" (and if you can say that you're a better man than I) . I 'd guess that's juniper berries in Polish. I'm Prussian not Polish so I don't know.

                      Alicia's Fine Foods
                      www.alicias.ca/Alicia's Fine Foods, store offering huge selection of high quality local and imported East European foods. Location at 1290 Trafalgar St. London. Ontario.

                      PS I also located them at the Covent Garden Market but at $7 that is highway robbery.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ottokirpitnik

                        Just asked someone who speaks polish yah-LOW-vietz is what he said.