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Article: Arsenic, Old Lace and Elderberry Wine: Elderberry/Poke berries

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Forum: Article: Arsenic, Old Lace and Elderberry WineReplies: 1, Views: 36
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Bloomington, IN

June 13, 2011
11:17 AM

Post #8627858

I have made elderberry jelly in the past, and I love it. However, with all the local development here in Indiana where I live, elderberry bushes are becoming more and more difficult to find. I am always looking for elderberry jelly and wine at the local markets. I don't know if there is a similar use for poke berries. I have a poke plant/tree! for "decoration" and bird food in my small yard. Has anyone made jelly? I have heard the berries are poison.
Stanchfield, MN

June 16, 2011
11:44 PM

Post #8635554

Please, PLEASE if you use poke berries for wine and/or jelly, make sure you have COOKED them THOROUGHLY and REMOVED the seeds. Yes, the berries ARE toxic, and yes, COOKING them will make them "safe". BUT the seeds can STILL be toxic even after cooking.

Above all, DO NOT just assume that you can experiment with poke berries unless you are EXPERIENCED in using them. Start with SMALL (tiny, really) batches just in case you get something wrong -- because if you do get something wrong, such as not COOKING them properly or allowing even a tiny bit of seed to get into the wine or jelly, consuming more than a tiny amount could possibly kill someone.

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