Elderberries are on the rise! Its association with immune-boosting effects is causing an increase in popularity, especially since the onset of COVID-19. It has a long history as a natural remedy for ailments like cold and flu symptoms, gastrointestinal discomfort, and promoting healing and tissue growth.
In addition to its healthy reputation, the elderberry’s woodsy, dark fruity, and lightly sweet flavor can give your applications a boost of sophistication and class, just in time for the upcoming season of feasts and holiday parties. That is why it is our September Fruit of the Month!
Let’s dive into its unparalleled flavor profile, pairing recommendations, and available products to help you best utilize this deep, rich fruit for your next application!
Northwest Naturals Products Available
Elderberries exist in many different types, from Beauty to Black Lace to Adams #1 and #2. Each variation differs slightly in sweetness, aromatic notes, and textures. We offer several elderberry juice concentrate options to ensure we capture your desired flavor. NWN offerings include:
- Red Elderberry Juice Concentrate (JC)
- Purple Elderberry JC
- Elderberry JC WONF (Juice Concentrate with other Natural Flavor)
- Organic Elderberry JC
Request a free sample to see if these products fit your application. If your desired flavor is not yet listed, we are ready to help you create it! Visit our blog post on creating custom blends for more details. Contact us to find out which option works best for your applications.
Elderberries are in season and at their most flavorful in mid-June to mid-September. The peak time of year is in August. The berry clusters tend to ripen unevenly, so growers often hand-pick them. Since the berries spoil within two to four hours after being picked, we rarely see whole elderberries in grocery stores or farmers’ markets. That is why elderberry juice concentrate is the best way to optimize the berry’s potential for your applications.
Despite its peak season being in August, it is available to source all year round without issue.
Elderberries are lightly sweet, tart, earthy, and slightly bitter. They bring woodsy, floral, and dark fruit notes that are complex and wine-like.
Its uniqueness lies in its balance between intensity and subtlety. High acidity, tannins, and slight bitterness can hold their own and shine alongside potent, savory applications like barbecue sauces. However, elderberry’s delicate floral flavors add an elegance that brings a balanced complexity and dynamism. The sophisticated nature of this fruit makes it fun and versatile. It will be a treat for even the most daring of recipe developers.
Elderberries are trending! Their delicious duality makes them versatile for all types of businesses in the food and drink industry. Hop on this trend by optimizing elderberry’s potential with tried-and-true flavor pairings.
Complementary fruits include other berries, apple, apricot, peach, citrus, plum, fig, and dates. For spices, we encourage pairing them with brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, allspice, clove, and vanilla.
Red meat and game taste amazing with their acidity and earthy notes, and their subtle sweetness and floral grace can enhance the bitterness of wine and coffee.
Utilizing these pairings can elevate your food and beverage applications to a new and exciting caliber for your business and provide a memorable experience for your clientele!
Applications for Elderberries
A complex flavor makes elderberries excellently suited for beverages like cocktails, mocktails, smoothies, and teas. Try it in an elderberry tonic, kombucha, or gin!
They work deliciously in sweet syrups and desserts – usually paired with another, sweeter fruit or berry. Elderberry pie would be a definite showstopper at Thanksgiving dinner. Elderberry lollipops and gummies for trick-o-treaters or throat lozenges for winter colds are other ideas worth trying.
Too early to think about the holidays? Before summer ends, work them into ice cream, smoothies, and popsicles.
For dark, red meats, try an elderberry vinaigrette! It will be an immediate boost in sophistication and class. Try chutney, honey, and bbq sauces too!
For additional application ideas for elderberries and more, visit our website.
Request a Juice Sample Today!
Ready to craft your next bestseller? Request free juice samples and order products by creating a free Northwest Naturals account. It is a quick and easy way to gain a team of specialists ready to support all your flavor needs. Get started on your elderberry crowd-pleaser, and request a free sample today!