I eat trees
In terms of taste, conifers are one of my favorites in the tree kitchen. The young May shoots of larch, spruce and fir are ideal for refining sweet and savory dishes. You can read again here what the May growth is all about and how you differentiate the spruce from the fir.
From the series “I eat trees”, today’s topic will be the larch. Did you know that the larch is the only native conifer that loses its needles in winter? The needles of the European larch change color in autumn Larix decidua golden yellow before the beautiful cones appear in spring, followed by the light green needle shoots.
Mini pineapple from the tree
This is how they look from the little larch cones, by the way. They look like a tropical fruit or mini pineapple. Only after 15-20 years do larches develop male and female flowers. Flowering time is from March to May. The seeds only ripen in the following spring before they fly out. The brown cone will then withstand wind and weather for about 10 years before falling from the tree.
In addition to the female flowers, the young needle shoots are also interesting for the kitchen. You can nibble young larch needles straight from the tree. They taste lemony, fresh, resinous, contain vitamins, essential oils and resins and bring the forest to your plate in terms of taste.
As with collecting wild herbs, the following applies:
Collect carefully and sustainably!
woody tree recipes with larch
Recipe: Larch cream cheese »Baumkönig«
Put the cream cheese in a bowl. Roughly chop the tree needles and add about 2 tbsp to the cream cheese. Season the mixture with lemon zest, finely chopped garlic, pepper and salt and mix everything together. Then shape the cream cheese into a roll or small balls with wet hands and roll it in the remaining tree needles. Sprinkle with edible flowers as desired and refrigerate for a few hours. Voilà, the cream cheese from the forest is ready!
Spruce and fir may shoots are also suitable for the preparation of the fresh cheese roll.
Recipe: larch syrup
Dissolve sugar in water and heat in a saucepan, add larch cones and needles and bring to the boil briefly. Let the syrup mixture steep for 1 day, then bring to the boil again and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, then add lemon juice. Strain the syrup and fill it into bottles while it is still hot.
For a woody thirst quencher, pour some larch syrup with sparkling water or mix beer with larch syrup for a forest shandy.
Recipe: chocolate larch drops
Heat the chocolate in a water bath and place small “drops” on the baking paper. Carefully place the young shoot tips on the still soft chocolate drops and allow to cool until the chocolate is solid. The forest confectionery is ready.
Acquired a taste?
Come with us to the herb hunt in meadows, forests and gardens with our e-book “Wildes Fast Food”. Detailed plant portraits, self-made illustrations and detailed photos help you to identify and process the most common edible wild plants and trees in your area. Your entry into the world of edible wild herbs and trees.