Elderberries grow in a fruit cluster. Each cluster bears very many tiny, globular, black berries.
Avoid unripe, green berries,or they will make you sick. Even ripe raw elderberries make some people nauseous. Cooking or drying dispels the offending substance, and greatly improves the flavor. Baking this fruit in muffins, cakes, and breads imbues them with a piquant crunchiness. They become the central ingredient whenever you use them in baked goods. Elderberries are not sweet and contain no thickeners. Rely on other ingredients for these elements, especially if you are making the European favorite, elderberry jam.