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Fresh Juniper Berries?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

My buddy was hunting in a spot that had a bunch of junipers and he picked me some.

 

I was wondering if these are OK or good to use when a recipe calls for juniper, like curing different meats, pickling spice, etc?

 

I am going to make some Coppa soon and I do have some store bought juniper berries but was thinking these might be fresher/better?

 

Anyone use these fresh berries in curing meats or other recipes?

 

Thanks

 

post #2 of 7
Berries from some juniper varietals are toxic. Others, while non-toxic are very bitter.

Don't know which one, but kept me away from the berries growing every year in front of my house. Gotta research this a bit, maybe they are good to use.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback AS, I think I will just use the ones I bought for cooking purposes and save these until I find out more.

 

I don't want to waste a bunch of time and energy on some coppa that comes out no good.

post #4 of 7

If he picked those off of the western junipers that would be in Montana you are fine to use them. We pick them here every year. The best time to harvest them is late summer and early fall as late as the first of November. We have several distilleries here that harvest them for making gin.  Juniper berries are a diuretic so one needs to use them in limited quantity. There are several spices that are toxic. Most of those are shrub form not tree form.

post #5 of 7
DS,

The ones you pick are from trees?
post #6 of 7
Yes. Western Junioers. Juniperous Occidentalis.
They are one of the more common juniper trees. They span from the west coast to he mid west.
post #7 of 7
Ofcourse, yet another good thing you got going in the west (beside great salmon, real mountains). :-)
You left us the politicians.:-(
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