A juniper berry is the female seed cone produced by the various species of junipers. It is not a true berry but a cone with unusually fleshy and merged scales, which give it a berry-like appearance. The cones from a handful of species, especially Juniperus communis, are used as a spice, particularly in European cuisine, and also give gin its distinctive flavor. According to one FAO document, juniper berries are the only spice derived from conifers,although tar and inner bark (used as a sweetener in Apache cuisines) from pine trees is sometimes considered a spice as well.
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