Eat Your Tree!

OK, maybe don’t eat it, but…you can use your Christmas tree to flavor your food. That’s the message from Denmark, espoused in this NYT op-ed.

I don’t have much experience with Christmas trees, but it sounds like a neat idea. After all, spruce and fir needles seem very rosemary-ish. Why not deploy them as an herb to spice up veggies, seafood, meat or even butter (see the article’s recipe).

Wackier yet, the author suggests drying and processing needles into a powder. Mixing that evergreen essence into cookie dough just might make the perfect winter cookie. I wouldn’t bet on it, but I’m willing to give it a shot (especially if a tree-shaped cookie cutter is involved). Stay tuned…

Regardless of how those culinary ideas sound, you have to admit that the author’s logic is compelling:

Nature takes enormous time and effort to produce something that we use only briefly. Why don’t we make greater use of this living tree, as we make use of so many other kinds of plants on earth, by eating it?

Anyone have any experience using their Christmas tree in the kitchen?

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  1. Posted December 27, 2010 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    This isn’t the best idea I’ve ever heard. It sounds cool in theory, but unless you are 1,000% certain of what kind of evergreen you have, I wouldn’t eat it. Some are incredibly poisonous.

  2. Posted December 27, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Hmm…Well that wouldn’t be good. Thanks for adding that. But this reminds me of the carrot tops discussion. Are evergeen *needles* really poisonous?

  3. Posted December 27, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering how many pesticides are used with Christmas trees…plants that don’t get eaten (like cotton) tend to get more chemical treatments.

  4. Robert
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Yew is a poisonous evergreen. It is probably used in wreaths. Evergreen pines, spruces, firs, or balsams (but definately not yews!) can all be fed to goats. They love to eat the needles and chew the bark off of the trees.

  5. Posted December 27, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Commercial Christmas trees have often been sprayed with flame retardant. I would not eat just any old Christmas tree and I would have to do a bit more investigation. Oh, and feed some of this to a friend!

    Carrot tops are only poisonous because that is where there is the greatest concentration of pesticides. Sure, a bit of pesticide or flame retardant won’t hurt. But, the accumulative effects of poisons might not be good.

  6. Posted December 27, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Pesticides, poison, flame retardant–you guys are no fun!

    Just kidding, all worthy considerations. It seems that, as with food, knowing where your tree came from is vital.

    (That sound you hear is me backing off my commitment to make evergreen cookies)

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  1. [...] 3. Eat it. That’s right — eat your tree. In NY Times, an op-ed column by Rene Redzepi detailshow you can turn trees into nourishment. Apparently, “evergreens are delicious”! Read the tips — and the recipes for Spruce Butter, Spruce Oil, and Spruce Vinegar. (via Wasted Food) [...]

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