I had the opportunity to participate in Gather Victoria’s urban walk and food tasting. It was a wonderful afternoon of learning about conifers and how they have been traditionally used as medicine and as nourishment.
I love to cook and I love wild crafting and traditional ecological knowledge. On our walk, our hosts from Gather Victoria (Jennifer and Danielle) explained how to identify some of our local conifers and how to incorporate them into cooking and medicinal tonics.
As a great source of vitamin C and A-conifers add wonderful flavour to teas, salts, sugars and baking dishes. We even got to sample some baking with Grand Fir needles included. Grand Fir has a wonderful flavour that could be described as a citrus note. I would agree with Danielle, that Grand Fir does taste a lot like grapefruit.
I was excited to explore the difference between Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, and Western Hemlock. In the process I learned a few tricks. One of which was noting that the tip of a Grand Fir needle has a tiny notch, and that is the giveaway as to tree identification.
This picture (featured on the left) is Douglas Fir, and you can tell which fir it is because of the small resinous buds along the stem. I sampled both the Douglas Fir, and the Grand Fir. The Grand Fir with its fruity citrus tones tasted best to me.
We sampled delicious baked goods baked by our hosts Jennifer and Danielle-
They were delicious!
In the end we made a flavoured salt, a tea, and a gorgeous sugar-perfect for dusting cookies.
I am so glad that I made the time to go to a Gather Victoria event. I will watch for more in the future, and I am also thinking of a honey and Grand Fir mars aged pork loin with Salal or Rowan berry jelly! I can’t wait!
I have found more reasons to get outside, and spend time doing what I love. Perfection!