Yet another thriving plant in the Finger Lakes region. If you’re familiar with juniper berries then that's a good place to begin: almost identical to juniper in flavor.
Eastern Redcedar, also known as Virginian Juniper, Eastern Juniper, Red Juniper, Pencil Cedar and Aromatic Cedar, is evergreen and so can be found with leaves at all times of the year. It is a flavor so distinctive of the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York.
A small sprig from a branch contains huge flavor. Juniper has long been used in food, common pairings are with venison, boar and game birds. Juniper is the most recognized and widely used ingredient in gin.
The cones, or 'berries' can be found from the late spring and early summer. They start off green and slowly ripen through the year until they turn a deep and dark blue color. In early to late winter, they are at their sweetest. The berries are an essential winter food for the (US native) Cedar Waxwing birds which can be seen darting between trees in groves of trees throughout the winter months.