Dried sweet fern leaves have distinct aromatic notes, including honey, eucalyptus and pine.
Comptonia, or sweet fern, is a plant that closely resembles a fern and is often seen growing near blueberries. It grows best in sandy areas as well as clearings made by forest fires. In America, sweet fern is sometimes used, in different forms, by First Nations to relieve cold symptoms, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and stimulant qualities.
Dried sweet fern leaves have distinct aromatic notes, including honey, eucalyptus and pine. They are also rich in tannins. It adds a special touch to pork or chicken, particularly when blended with other herbs. Fatty fish like salmon or mackerel are fantastic with Comptonia. Just one pinch will make a preserve, particularly apple or pear, really shine. Sweet fern also makes a fabulous herbal tea!
Our sweet fern comes from Quebec’s boreal forests; it’s hand harvested with care not far from Girardville, in the northern part of the Lac Saint-Jean region. After the leaves are plucked in three separate reapings during the summer, new buds are gathered in August, at their peak flavour. This process ensures the harvested buds are at their maximum flavour.
This spice is part of our foraged boreal spice collection (épices boréales).