Twelve small dishes containing boreal spices of Quebec.

Boreal forest

In recent years, daring producer-researchers have been promoting the more obscure products of our vast forests, helping flavourful natural resources to find their way into local gastronomy and peaking the interest of chefs in the United States and Europe. From wormwood catkins and green alder to wild currant and Labrador tea, local fragrances now waft far beyond their native lands.

The producers who promote these products, like the Coopérative forestière Girardville in Lac-Saint-Jean, gather the plants by hand at specific times in the year to fully capitalize on their flavours and ensure their regeneration and continued growth.

Photo: Épices D’Origina, Coopérative forestière Girardville.

Photo (left to right): Male green alder catkins (Alnus viridia), wild rose petals (Rosa centifolia), mugwort flowers (Artemisia vulgaris), sweetfern catkins (Comptonia peregrina), tansy flowers (Tanacetum vulgare), honey clover (Melilotus alba), Labrador tea leaves (Ledum groenlandicum), eastern tea berry or American wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), cow parsnip root (Heracleum lanatum), dewberry (Rubus pubescens), dried bog myrtle seeds (Myrica gale)