Do you know elderberries?
I have not been able ever to forage elderberries, as the birds are always faster than me. Thus, I bought dried elderberries from an online source. The purchased berries are European elderberries, Sambucus nigra. The elderberries I would have foraged are the ones native to North America, Sambucus canadensis.
Are the seeds and stems of the European berry not as toxic as those of the N. American berry? My grandmother made elderberry jelly and always picked out the bits of stem and green berries before starting. She strained the well cooked berries in a bag and captured only the juice. Everything I read online says to treat the seeds, stems, and unripe berries as toxic.
However, I read of people in the UK making elderberry chutney, which seems to use the whole berry, seeds and all. My grandmother was also a chutney maker, but she never used elderberries in chutney; she used them only for jelly. Is the European berry not so toxic, or does the N.American elderberry have an exaggerated reputation for toxicity?
I'd like to use some of the European elderberries I bought in a chutney recipe if they reconstitute well.