Sauerkraut wouldn’t be sauerkraut without juniper. Juniper is an important spice in many European cuisines, especially in Alpine regions, where juniper grows abundantly. The aromatic, cleansing flavor of juniper works best to cut rich, gamey, or fatty foods: reindeer in Scandinavia, wild duck in Ireland, wild boar in Italy, and hare in France.
What to buy: Juniper berries are at their best when they are moist and soft to the touch. The cloudy bloom that appears on some berries is harmless. Look for whole juniper berries at specialty spice merchants and German or eastern European markets.