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JoNorvelleWalker

Canadian Herbs and Spices

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Dinner tonight was prepared with several Canadian herbs and spices with which I had not been familiar.  Google helped with some.  Could any kind Canadians enlighten me?

 

Dulse:  seaweed that tastes like bacon.  Contains all trace elements needed by humans.   Sounds OK by me.

 

Sweet Fern:  resinous bitter plant that is not a fern.

 

Wild Gaspésian Pepper:  no clue.  Why is wild better than not wild?

 

Labrador Tea:  favored by Inuit and First Nations people.  Wikipedia questions the toxicity.  Formerly added to beer to make beer more intoxicating.  Contains ledol used to invoke delirium in shamanistic rituals.  Also grayanotoxin, employed by Persians as a chemical weapon against Roman troops.

 

 

Edit:  and as a recreational drug in Nepal and Turkey.

 

 


Edited by JoNorvelleWalker (log)
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39 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Could any kind Canadians enlighten me?

Canadian eh? See what happens when a whole nation legalizes cannabis— we can persuade our neighbours to buy things they never heard of before — things we wouldn’t dream of buying ourselves. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

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1 hour ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Dulse:  seaweed that tastes like bacon.  Contains all trace elements needed by humans.   Sounds OK by me. 

 

 

What is Canadian about dulse? I almost grew up on it in Scotland. Even the name is from Scots/Irish Gaelic.

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55 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

 

What is Canadian about dulse? I almost grew up on it in Scotland. Even the name is from Scots/Irish Gaelic.

It grew up in Canadian waters?


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I'm as Canadian as they come, eh?  But dulse is the only one that I've heard of and personally I don't like it if I can taste it.  But then, I guess I am one of the uneducated Canadians, eh.  And I don't like Canadian bacon either.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Aboriginal people in the Yukon use Labrador Tea as medicine. Good for colds and chest infections. Boil a handful  in a pot of water for about five minutes and add a couple of tea bags. 

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My ex husband's mother was from Grand Manan - dulce eating people out there! She would bring a brown paper bag full of the stuff, complete with starfish bodies and seagull shit and they would munch it down. Can you say serious sulfur farts?

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I have an east coast friend who loves dulse and always brings it home with her when she visits her family. She chews it like, I dunno, gum or something. I tried it. Seems to be a weird substance that the more you chew it the bigger it gets in your mouth. You just can't seem to get rid of it so you end up spitting out a giant wad. I'm not a fan.

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I bought a pack of it on amazon. I can’t figure out what to do with it. 

 

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No information on Wild Gaspésian Pepper?  I spent time with one of our librarians at work this afternoon but we couldn't come up with anything.  My guess is it's a peppery herb of some sort but I can't imagine what.

 

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Like the seaweed that produces carageenan (ie, "Irish moss"), dulse is widely gathered and used around the UK and other locations. On this side of the pond, because that particular bit of lore didn't seem to translate to the 13 colonies, it's largely identified with Atlantic Canada (and Grand Manan in particular...the gold standard is Dark Harbour dulse, and many here in NB will eat no other).

 

It's salty, and savory, and you can do a number of interesting things with it. I toast it lightly and crumble it over salads and chowders, when I'm not in the mood to just eat it straight from the bag (I *have* seen the odd handful with barnacles or other impedimenta, and make a firm mental note to never buy from that vendor). Somewhere in the PNW, a university is selectively breeding a strain of dulse that tastes especially like bacon for the meat abstaining/reducing/and-or vegan crowd.

 

Many stores now sell dulse flakes in a shaker, as a sort of salt substitute/seasoning you can simply shake onto dishes for a bit of brininess.

 

There are several plants of slightly different taxonomy that share the colloquial "Labrador tea" moniker. Some have more medicinal properties than others, and therefore (they're opposite sides of the same coin) also more potential toxicity. In modest amounts it's not thought to be an issue. The "true" version, recently reclassified as part of the rhododentron family (I had occasion to look this up recently, so it's fresh in my mind) has an interesting if subtle flavor, with minor undertones reminiscent of vanilla. A couple of my older Newfoundland relatives keep some on hand for when the mood strikes.

No idea about the other two, though a book of Eastern Canadian wild edibles is sitting currently in my "should I or shouldn't I?" list for Amazon and/or Indigo. One or the other might turn up there.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Thanks @chromedome.

I grew up gathering dulse and Irish moss.

We dried the dulse and used it as a salt substitute when crushed up.

The Irish moss we used to make blanc mange(pudding).  

I wonder how many uses have been lost?


Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

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In response to my query Spicetrekkers informed me Wild Gaspésian Pepper is the catkins of Green Alder, Alnus viridis, foraged in the forests of Quebec.

 

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Son of a gun. I've certainly hacked down my fair share of alder over the years, without knowing the catkins were edible.

 

Mind you, Spicetrekkers' own page explains that there was no established tradition of using them culinarily, so I suppose I could be excused for not knowing this. :)

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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30 minutes ago, chromedome said:

Son of a gun. I've certainly hacked down my fair share of alder over the years, without knowing the catkins were edible.

 

Mind you, Spicetrekkers' own page explains that there was no established tradition of using them culinarily, so I suppose I could be excused for not knowing this. :)

 

I couldn't find that reference on spicetrekkers, could you please link it?

 

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30 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

I couldn't find that reference on spicetrekkers, could you please link it?

 

NP.

 

https://spicetrekkers.com/news/gaspé-spices-pourquoi-pas

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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