Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Elderberry (sambucus) for a trial

This is my first try with the new blogger version
You see one of the sweet smelling elderberry flowers I photographed in the Netherlands. 

I love elderberry - 
in Germany it was a sacred house-tree. We call it "Holunder" which refers to "Frau Holle" - a figure in Grimm's fairy tales who shakes up the eiderdowns (then it snows on earth), but cares about other housework too. And can become very angry if you don't do it well: look at the fairytale "Frau Holle". 

I remember the scent from my earliest days: my grandmother (the red-blooded one) had a pergola with climbing roses, and behind it stood an elderberry tree. 

I love elderberry cordial, become sick when I eat blue elderberry soup (part of the little stems are poisonous) and haven't tried "Holunder Küchle" yet, where one big flower is covered with pancake batter (hopefully without those myriads of black lice elderberry is prone too!) and then deep-fried. 

So: still something to discover. 
As there will be on the new blogger version, I think. 😀



  1. Well done you have mastered it Britta - it is not that difficult is it? Once it becomes familiar it will get easier and easier. I normally make some Elderflower Cordial each year, but have not got around to doing it this year.

    1. It was surprisingly simple, Rosemary - but maybe I have overlooked some finesse?
      Great to make ones Cordial oneself - long time ago I made "Schlehenfeuer" (Sloe-fire - done with Gin and candy; and sloe-sirup, which goes oh so well with pudding or ice cream - and has such a lovely colour!)

  2. I will certainly search for Frau Holle. I love fairy tales. I have not heard of Hollunder Kuchle before. Since I don't like pancakes I'll probably not try it.

    1. I do love fairy tales too, Emma, though as a child I only accepted the "good" ones (The Townmusicians of Bremen, Puss in Boots etc).
      The Holunder Küchle are not a "must" - each little elderberry flower is covered with pancake dough - so it is crispy - but I do not do them myself.

  3. The new version is quick to be used to and someone will tell you if you trip.