The highly acclaimed chef René Redzepi once suggested how amazing it would be "if families gathered after Christmas, festively removed the decorations and then cut off the tasty needles of the tree to flavour their food..."
Eat Your Christmas Tree
Thanks to a new book by supper club chef and food writer, Julia Georgialis, it seems that this vision may just about to become true. In her book, she has documented a bunch of tasty recipes that have the Christmas tree at their heart. Christmas trees, instead of just decoration, can be given a new lease of life in our kitchens.
Pineing For Yew
Eating pine needles is not actually that usual, but the practice has certainly gained momentum these last few years. The Nordic food movement reinvigorated their popularity amongst chefs and they have steadily drifted further into mainstream eating
So you have a real tree, what now? It is important that you choose the right sort of tree - conifers such as pine, spruce and fir tree are the ones to use, with blue spruce and Douglas fir best bets for cooking - their flavours ranging from citrus to grassy aromas. There are plenty of recipes of pickles spruce tips in books such as Tommy Banks Roots Cookbook, however, this uses the tender, young shoots found in spring. The Christmas tree needles are a bit too woody for this preparation, so infusions are an obvious way to go. We are talking teas, gins and even pine-scented honey.