Hung up to dry

Landscape (UK) - - In The Kitchen -

El­der­ber­ries can­not be eaten raw, as they con­tain a small amount of a poi­sonous al­ka­loid that can make peo­ple sick. Dry­ing them gets rid of this, as well as con­cen­trat­ing their unique flavour. The clus­ters of berries are left un­til they have turned upside down and their fruit is ripe and pur­ple be­fore pick­ing. Dirt and de­bris is washed off the clus­ters, be­fore they are hung in a cool, dark place un­til they are dry. They are sus­pended with the berries hang­ing down. Plac­ing a paper bag with air holes punched in it over the clus­ters will catch any berries that fall. The top of the bag can be se­cured with string. Once dry, the berries can be made into an in­fu­sion or a tea to re­lieve cold and flu symp­toms. Stored in the re­frig­er­a­tor, dried el­der­ber­ries can last up to six months.

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