Several ingredients from the Quebec boreal forest are known by a minority of people despite the many benefits they provide at different levels.
Publicize little-known ingredients
The forests of Quebec are full of ingredients that can be used in many contexts and that can treat many health problems. Still little known to the general public, Quebec spices are slowly starting to stand out. Indeed, they slowly make their way, from the boreal forest to our plate.
Unfortunately, the majority of citizens know very little about the ingredients that grow on our territory and their uses. At PilKi, our mission is therefore to make consumers discover the richness of Quebec’s terroir. To do so, today we are presenting you the must-haves of the terroir to have in your pantry without exception.
The sweetgale, gives off aromas that are simply divine. This ingredient from our boreal forests is used extensively in gastronomy and in therefore and essential in our pantry. It is used in particular to season stews, soups meats.
To compare sweetgale to a more famous spice, it can be a great substitute for bay leaves. With its taste that oscillates between balsam fir and jasmine, we can say that this local plant tastes like heaven! It could also be called refreshing, hoppy, slightly bitter and peppery, but still resinous. Some people also fond that the taste of sweetgale is close to nutmeg. Either way, this is a must-try local spice!
For the experience and to inspire you, we have prepared a “touski” soup recipe for you. Our wonderful sweetgale and mugwort seasoned dish is available right here!
2. Green Alder
Green alder is an essential spice that is widely used by chefs in fine cuisine. It is an extremely versatile local ingredient that can be used in a multitude of contexts. This is the perfect spice for learning about boreal forest products for the first time!
The ways to use this ingredient are simply endless! For example, it can be used to season and enhance marinades, salads, soups, and broths.
It is not only used in dishes, but it is also possible to integrate it into various beverages such as coffees or in herbal teas. Indeed, we have used this ingredient in our famous Aronia & Alder infusion. Quebec green alder adds depth and a coniferous touch typical of conifers in our blend. It just tastes like heaven. To know all the possible and surprising uses of a miracle ingredient, it’s right here!
In addition to being known as a popular medicine resource around the world, it is also considered an edible plant. Indeed, among its many benefits, its addition to the diet facilitates digestion when used in small quantities.
Mugwort is used in many countries, such as China for flavor tea and rice dishes and as a culinary herb for poultry and pork in Western cultures. In addition, the Japanese use this plant to give color and flavor to the Mochi (sticky rice balls) found in the grocery store. Also in Japan, the young shoots of mugwort are used as vegetable plants. The dried leaves can also be used for very aromatic and slightly bitter infusions.
It pairs well with a wide range of flavors and was even a flavoring of beer long before hops became popular! This plant was used to kill bacteria harmful to consumption present in beer.
To read our article on the many benefits of this miracle plant, it’s right here!
4. Highbush Cranberry
Highbush cranberry is an ingredient that is little known, but packed with flavor! This small berry that grows in the forests of Quebec is very rich in antioxidants. It is therefore excellent for your health!
In addition to enhancing recipes like never before, it adds a little tangy and aromatic side to your dishes. In fact, highbush cranberry is used as a replacement for the classic cranberry in classic dishes. Among these dishes, there is poultry for the Thanksgiving feast or in the holiday season in the sauce. It is also possible to integrate it into pies! This small fruit mixed with the other ingredients helps to balance the flavors.
Highbush cranberry is an ingredient that goes well with the fruit of the rose (rosehip). We therefore concocted an infusion made of Labrador tea with these two ingredients featured. This is our Rosehip & Highbush Cranberry infusion which won the jury’s crush as part of the DUX 2021 Grands Prix! These rich and balanced aromas really bring out the richness of the Quebec terroir in a cup. You absolutely have to try it!
Plus, to make your mouth water and inspire you, here is our Highbush Cranberry seasoned chicken recipe right here.