ingredient information
Elder Flowers
Sambucus (elder or elderberry) is a genus of between 5 and 30 species of shrubs or small trees, formerly placed in the honeysuckle family, Caprifoliaceae, but now shown by genetic evidence to be correctly classified in the moschatel family, Adoxaceae. Two of its species are herbaceous. The genus is native in temperate-to-subtropical regions of both the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. It is more widespread in the Northern Hemisphere; its Southern Hemisphere occurrence is restricted to parts of Australasia and South America. The leaves are pinnate with 5–9 leaflets (rarely 3 or 11). Each leaf is 5–30 cm long, and the leaflets have serrated margins. They bear large clusters of small white or cream-coloured flowers in late spring; these are followed by clusters of small black, blue-black, or red berries (rarely yellow or white). The flowers of Sambucus nigra are used to produce elderflower liqueur. The French and Central Europeans (Austrians, Croatians), but particularly the Swiss (the foremost experts of Sambucus cultivation and culinary applications)[citation needed] are known for their elderflower syrup, most commonly made from an extract of elderflower blossoms, which can be added into pancake (Palatschinken) mix instead of blueberries. Most Balkan counties (Serbia, Romania, Macedonia) will use a similar method to make a syrup which is diluted with water and used as a drink. Based on this syrup, Fanta marketed a soft drink variety called "Shokata" which was sold in 15 countries worldwide. In the United States, this French elderflower syrup is used to make elderflower marshmallows. Wines and cordials may be produced from the berries. Berries can be used to produce marmalade. Ornamental varieties of Sambucus are grown in gardens. In Germany the umbels of the elderberry are batter coated, fried and then served as a dessert or a sweet lunch with a sugar and cinnamon topping. Hollowed elderberry twigs have traditionally been used as spiles to tap maple trees for syrup