When a friend of mine suggested experimenting with spruce tips, and with the forest about the only place open, I thought ‘why not’. And what a delightful discovery the spruce tip harvest has been.
So far, it is the favourite of my foraged foods. Standing on my back deck I am able to pluck, like a berry, this delicate little treat. A very pretty, yellowy, lime green, paint brush with a crisp citrus flavour pops straight into my mouth. It is a burst of flavour and one tip at a time is enough.
And, the act of removing the spruce tips also prunes the gigantic Norwegian spruce tree that graces our back yard.
With it’s tangy citrus flavour, the little spruce tip is perfect for tossing into a salad. The spruce tip can also flavour vinegar, be baked into cookies, pickled with some sprigs of dill, and dried for tea.
Spruce tip tea comes with great medicinal value. Research shows that the tiny spruce tip contains Shikimic Acid, which is used as a basis of many chemical influenza preparations. So if you are feeling a little under the weather this next cold/flu season, come and see me for a cuppa.