Juniper Berries – The dried berries of the common juniper plant (Juniperus communis) used in landscaping are probably best known as the dominant flavour in gin. In fact, our word for gin is derived from genievre, the French word for juniper. They are widely used throughout Europe, especially with wild game dishes where their powerful, woodsy, pine-like flavour will not overpower the meat. They are used to flavour sauerkraut in Alsace, in pickling mixtures in Scandinavia, and pates in France. Pick the ripe blue-black berries from juniper plants that have not been treated with chemicals and dry them for home use. The berries take two years to ripen, so both ripe and unripe green berries will appear on the same bush.