Elderberry belongs to the genus of plants of the Adox family and unites about 25 species. Until 2003, the plant was ranked among the Honeysuckle or Elderberry family. Most of the representatives of the genus are shrubs or small trees, perennial grasses are much less common.
In nature, black and red elderberries grow mainly in the southeastern and central European part of Russia, in Siberia, as well as in the Baltic States, Belarus and Ukraine. Elderberry “loves” both darkened terrain and sunny forest edges. Elderberry can be found in the thickets of abandoned parks and squares, in garden plots and in villages near houses.
It is widely believed that elderberry is used primarily in medicine, but not in cooking. This statement is fundamentally wrong: you can make a lot of healthy desserts from black elderberry, and not only from berries, but also from flowers and young shoots too. It is believed that the use of elderberry for food began during the Second World War, when hungry people sought food in the fields and forests and fell in love with Elderberry taste. In fact, the plant has been used in cooking since the middle Ages. Wonder what does Elderberry taste like? Look below.
Types and varieties
The most famous species used in cooking are black elderberry and herb elderberry for its great Elderberry taste. Red elderberry is very poisonous and should not be eaten. The black elderberry is externally a small shrub. The flowering period falls in May and lasts until the end of June.
Elderberry flowers are small, yellowish-white, exude a pleasant fragrant aroma. Black elderberry berries ripen in late summer – early autumn.
Elderberry is found in the Caucasus, Belarus, Russia, and also in Ukraine. It is a grass up to two meters high. The berries and flowers of black elderberry and herbaceous elderberry are culinary almost identical, as are their shoots.
The elderberry has a very interesting chemical composition: its inflorescences contain carbohydrate-containing compounds, organic acids, semi-solid essential oils, vitamin A, tannins, sugars, etc. Elderberry fruits are rich in vitamin C, and the dried leaves contain provitamin A1, hallodubic acid and resinous substances. The bark contains essential oils, vitamin B4.
Previously, in the villages, a salad was prepared from the green shoots of elderberries and other herbs. It was believed that the use of the plant in food helps to rejuvenate the body and prolong life. However, it must be borne in mind that elderberry leaves are a powerful laxative and diuretic. In folk medicine, not only berries are widely used, but also leaves, inflorescences and plant bark. Elderberries have a lot of useful properties, not only fresh, but also dried. Fresh fruits are used to treat hepatitis, stomach ulcers and neurological disorders. Dried berries are good for such a serious ailment as malaria. The life-giving power of black elderberry is so great that the plant is used in combination with drug therapy in the treatment of stomach and skin cancer.
Tinctures and decoctions from elderberry inflorescences have an antibacterial and diaphoretic effect.
Thanks to such qualities, elderberry can become an excellent assistant in the fight against angina, colds, flu, etc. Elderberry leaves, like inflorescences, have antipyretic, diaphoretic and diuretic effects. Compresses made from steamed leaves relieve inflammation well and are therefore effectively used against burns, wetting, hemorrhoids, etc. With persistent constipation, elderberry tinctures with the addition of honey help well.
Elderberry bark decoctions have proven to be an effective remedy for kidney and skin diseases. For arthritis and rheumatism, they take baths with elderberry infusions. With a ready-made brew, you can also make various lotions.
It is known that elderberry also helps to improve metabolism. For this, jam, elderberry jelly and molasses are made from fresh berries. Elderberry or delicacies from it can be safely consumed by those who follow the figure. One hundred grams of berries contain about 73 calories, including 0.65 grams of protein, 11.3 grams of carbohydrates and 7 grams of fiber. There is practically no fat in elderberry. Elderberry berries are not recommended for pregnant women, as well as for people suffering from inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
Fresh elderberries have an unusual, specific taste. What does Elderberry taste like after heat treatment? this bite usually disappears. Dried fruits and flowers have a sour-sweet Elderberry taste. It is believed that the black elderberry berries vaguely resemble blueberries in taste, due to the slight nightshade flavor.
Black elderberry is actively used in cooking. Jam, mashed potatoes, elderberry jelly are made from fresh berries. What does Elderberry taste like when fresh fruit juice is used as a natural dye to add color to wines, fruit juices and other beverages? Elderberry flowers are added to grape wine when infused – this gives it a pleasant nutmeg aroma and enhances Elderberry taste.
Flowers are also used in the manufacture of liqueurs, sparkling wines, cognacs and liqueurs. Dried flowers and regular black elderberry taste tea are used to make delicious herbal drinks. You can also make an effervescent drink from dry inflorescences. Widely popular is the syrup, which is prepared from the inflorescences of black elderberry and sugar. It is popularly referred to as “elderberry honey”. This syrup is added to elderberry taste tea for colds, and is also served with pancakes and other treats.
Young shoots of elderberry are boiled for eating, they are also pickled. Elderberry berries can be used to make a variety of pastries: marshmallow, jam, marmalade, elderberry jelly.
What does Elderberry taste like with many berries and fruits? For example, you can make delicious elderberry jam with apples or lemons. Elderberry and honey jam is considered very useful.
Elderberries are used to prepare liqueurs and liqueurs, as well as fillings for pies and pies. Dried berries can be used as a seasoning for pilaf, and they are also added to muesli along with dried fruits.
Before preparing dishes with the addition of elderberries, the berries must be pre-processed. Fresh berries are carefully sorted out, separated from the stems and thoroughly washed in running water. If only fruit juice is used in a recipe, the berries are squeezed out, and the juice itself is filtered. The fruits can be used as a whole – no seeds need to be removed for this.