Black spruce is found across Canada. Its flavor has been familiar in Quebec for centuries- it’s the main ingredient in Spruce Beer, a favorite since the foundation of New France. Black Spruce syrup is also a traditional remedy for cold and sore throats.
Its buds have the resinous aroma common to evergreens, and present a range of citrus flavors as well. They are also less intense and less bitter than mature needles.
The flavor of young buds pairs nicely with citrus, like lemon and orange, or even cedar, in desserts. It can also be used with wild game, particularly in a blend with juniper, pepper, and Labrador tea. Try Black Spruce with lamb and thyme.