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Monterey Bay Spice Company

Bulk Herbs & Spices

[ THE JOYS of JUNIPER ] ~ from HerbCo
When you think of juniper, do you reflect on the landscaping shrub found in public parks and gardens? Or maybe you’re familiar with juniper’s needle-like greenery as a bonsai enthusiast. But there’s so much more to know about this coniferous member of the cypress family! For starters, juniper yields a spice and an essential oil. A clue to its character is revealed by taxonomy: its name is derived from the Latin junio, meaning “young,” and parere, which means “produce.” Put together, the designation suggests something evergreen, or forever young. Indeed, many indigenous peoples living near stands of juniper attribute the plant with bestowing them with long life and vitality, as well as food and fuel.

juniper berry
The dark purple fruits of the small tree are actually two-year old female seed cones masquerading as a berry with scales. This fact has not deterred epicureans of days long past, nor gastronomes of the present day. In fact, for centuries, juniper berries have been used as a flavoring agent for game meats, sauerkraut and other pickled foods, as well as beer, like the French genevrette, a brew made from equal amounts of juniper berries and hops. The frosty gin and tonic you occasionally enjoy on a summer’s evening is brought to you by – you guessed it – juniper berry, the primary spirit in the spirit. Even the folks at Starbuck’s capitalized on the complex flavor of juniper berry – peppery with slight citrusy and pine-like undertones – when the company introduced their Juniper Latte around Thanksgiving last year. If you’re a foodie, or just appreciate good flavor, you must get to know gemeiner wachholder, aka juniper berry, a bit better.



Juniper is "a truly wonderful fellow" and "the most enduring of all tree mountaineers. I wish I could live like these junipers, on sunshine and snow, and stand beside them for a thousand years. How much I should see, and how delightful it would be!"

John Muir
paraphrased by Joseph Cornell
John Muir: My Life with Nature
While surveying two farms and a woodlot on Westford Road in Concord, MA for John Le Grosse, Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal of the man: "Is interested in juniper berries, gooseberries, currants, etc., whether they will make wine; has recipes for this. Eats the juniper berries raw as he walks."

Henry David Thoreau
January 12, 1853


PAIRING SOME HERBS and SPICES with juniper
bulk dried minced garlic
dried garlic, minced
The slightly resinous flavor of juniper berry works well with garlic in the same way as rosemary in stews and braised vegetables.
BUY DRIED MINCED GARLIC IN BULK >
bulk black peppercorn
black peppercorn, whole 
Black pepper tempers the resinous flavor profile of juniper berry. Use them together in pickling spice mixes, soups and stews.
BUY WHOLE BLACK PEPPERCORN IN BULK >
bulk cut & sifted bay leaf
bay leaf, cut & sifted
The pairing of bay laurel with juniper berry creates a bittersweet but pleasant combination of flavors in soups, stew and braised foods.
BUY DRIED BAY LEAF IN BULK >
bulk dried thyme
dried thyme leaf, cut & sifted 
Try blending crushed juniper berries with dried thyme leaf in marinades and on roasted root vegetables.
BUY DRIED THYME IN BULK >
bulk cloves
cloves, whole 
Whole cloves or ground cloves work well with juniper berry in breads and pickled foods and, along with cinnamon and black pepper, mimic the flavor of allspice.
BUY CLOVES IN BULK >
bulk caraway
dried caraway seed, whole 
Many traditional German recipes partner caraway with juniper berry, such as braised cabbage and classic sauerbraten.
BUY CARAWAY IN BULK >
bulk organic juniper berry
juniper berry organic, whole 
Juniper berry can be used as a spice, and is popular in flavoring wild game and sauerkraut in Northern European countries.
BUY ORGANIC JUNIPER BERRY IN BULK >
bulk juniper berry
juniper berry, whole 
Juniper berry is also used in beer—and of course in making gin.
Also available in juniper berry powder.

BUY JUNIPER BERRY IN BULK >

simple sweet & spicy juniper syrup

This syrup is very easy to make but is so flavorful people will think it took a lot of effort. Use this syrup to create your own signature cocktails and mocktails. 

GET JUNIPER SYRUP RECIPE >
braised rotkraut (red cabbage)

This classic German dish is wonderful on the side with beef, pork, or bratwurst, and is also traditionally served with sauerbraten. Use a tart apple for this recipe, like Granny Smith.  

GET ROTKRAUT RECIPE >
pork chops with orange zest, red wine & juniper

In this dish, succulent pork chops bathe in a tangy marinade that doubles as a rich sauce when the finished dish is served. It’s sure to become a family favorite!

GET PORK CHOP RECIPE >

check out these PINTEREST for inspiration




and some of our other Newsletters that might be of interest





REFERENCES


Juniper, Trees for Life

The Juniper Tree, University of Pittsburgh

Wild Scottish Juniper, Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity

Scotland’s National Tree – Juniper?, Woodland Trust (Scotland)

Rock Rose Gin, Master of Malt

The New Starbucks Juniper Latte Tastes Like One Too Many Gin and Tonics, Washington Post

Juniper Berry Essential Oil – Detoxify Your Body, MONQ

Quesuco Ahumado de Liebana DOP, Forever Cheese

Ricotta al fumo di Ginepro, Culture Cheese Magazine






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