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Aug 22, 2011 06:23 PM

ISO Juniper berries?

Hey everyone,

I'm looking for juniper berries but haven't had much luck at grocery stores, or bulk barn type places.
Any ideas where i might find them outside of having to go to a specific spice shop? I would prefer it if I could find them somewhere in the East end or Yorkville, if possible. any ideas?
Thanks in advance!

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  1. Well, this isn't exactly what you're looking for, since it's a specific shop, but if you don't find them somewhere more convenient, you can definitely get them at the House of Spice in Kensington Market. (And for a reasonable price, also.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: trombasteve

      Okay thank you. thats helpful, and I guess its what I will have to do.

    2. I bought some at the Sobeys on laird. They were not in the regular spice section. Rather at the end of an aisle.

      2 Replies
      1. re: haggisdragon

        really? wow, this saves me a huge hassel. thank you!

        1. re: hungryabbey

          Your welcome! I bought them a couple of months ago but I bet they're still there. The brand name was 'Dion'.

      2. Spice Trader at 877 Queen Street West (Just west of Strachan) has them and you can buy them online if you don't want to travel downtown. You should though, the store is worth a visit.

        Spice Trader
        805 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

        4 Replies
        1. re: Kooper

          I picked some juniper berries off a tree. How do I dry them?

          1. re: Smachnoho

            Either in the sun on a baking sheet in the sun, in a food dehydrator or in the oven.

            If you are drying things in the oven be patient. It should be set to 90F and could take 4-8 hours depending on what you are drying. If your oven doesn't go that low set your oven to the lowest setting and prop it open with a wood or metal spoon. Be careful. It check on it frequently.

            This time of year it seems crazy to use the oven when the AC is going as well. I am going to use the sun or pick up a dehydrator so I am not using my oven to heat my whole house, while running the AC to cool the house. It seems like a waste of energy and money to dry 3$ in spice.

            1. re: Kooper

              Also, perhaps you've already checked for this, but most of the berries that actually stay on juniper trees are usually unripe (green, and hard), whereas the ones used for cooking are quite ripe (purple, with a whitish bloom, and softer). Additionally, buying them ensures that they're all the same degree of ripeness, and from a juniper variety that's suited to cooking. Not all junipers work well in the kitchen, and unripe berries don't substitute well for ripe ones. (I say this, having tried exactly what you're asking about, and not been happy with the results. Since then, I've just bought them.)

            2. re: Smachnoho

              In my 30+ yrs practice, I've never done more than leave them on the counter for a few days before stashing in a little single-serve jam jar, dated. I pick ripe (bluish with white bloom) ones that smell tasty & pungent when I scrape with a fingernail. Replaced annually or whenever I bring home some nice ones. Usually crush lightly before using in sauerbraten marinade, venison, sauerkraut.