About Juniper berries
Wikipedia Article About Juniper berries on Wikipedia
The astringent blue-black seed cones of the common juniper, commonly known as "juniper berries", are too bitter to eat raw and are usually sold dried and used to flavour meats, sauces, and stuffings. They are generally crushed before use to release their flavour. The cones are used to flavour gin. In fact, the word 'gin' is derived from the French word for juniper berry, genièvre, which is the name for gin in France. The Slovak national alcoholic beverage Borovička is also flavoured with juniper berry extract.
Since juniper berries have a strong taste, they should be used sparingly. They are generally used to enhance meat with a strong flavour, such as game, including game birds, or tongue. In Finland, juniper is used as a key ingredient in making sahti, a traditional Finnish ale.