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This item was last sold on : 05/10/16
Spruce trees are between 20 and 60 meters tall and have deep green colored needles that cover the branches. The Spruce tips should be foraged in early spring as soon as the bright lime-green buds emerge from their brown papery casings. This is when they are most tender and their slight resinous flavor is minimal. Spruce tips have lemony citrus notes and an herbal quality similar to rosemary.
In the wild, Spruce tips are available in early spring.
Spruce is a coniferous evergreen tree in the Pinaceae family. There are dozens of Spruce species in the Picea genus, all of which are edible and may be prepared in a similar manner. Each spring the trees grow new buds at the tips of their branches that eventually harden, developing into mature needles. It should be noted that not all evergreen trees are edible, and it is therefore vital that identification of Spruce is accurate.
Spruce tips provide high levels of Vitamin A and C, as well as oil that has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
The new Spruce tips are soft and chewy and may be eaten raw, but are best cooked or pickled. As the tips mature they become bitter and too hard to consume. The Spruce tips' lemony quality compliment seafood nicely in a sauce or stuffing. They are also used to add a fresh citrus note to beer. In sweet applications, Spruce tips add balance to cookies, sorbets and syrups. When steeped, Spruce tip tea is excellent for soothing sore throats and other respiratory ailments. A salve may also be made for topical uses on rashes, bug bites and joint aches.
The Koyukon People of Alaska used the White Spruce from root to tip for medicine, shelter, firewood, waterproofing, and ceremonial purposes. In their native language every part of the tree has a unique name thus illustrating its multifaceted importance.
Fossil records from the Paleocene Era trace the origin of spruce to Montana. Spruce trees grow in the boreal forests of temperate climates in the Northern hemisphere. Today they may be found growing across Scandinavia, Russia, China, Japan and North America.
Recipes that include Spruce Tips. One is easiest, three is harder.