New Brunswick

Spruce trees are surprisingly delicious

Greg Osowski, the outdoor educator at the Atlantic Wildlife Institute, reveals the most delicious parts of the spruce tree.

Greg Osowski of the Atlantic Wildlife Institute says he's made soda and shortbread cookies out of spruce trees

Most people don't walk through the woods for a bite to eat, but as Greg Osowski says they're tastier than many people may think.

It's important to first identify that you're looking at a spruce and not a fir tree.

Greg Osowski, the outdoor educator at the Atlantic Wildlife Institute, explained to Vanessa Vander Valk of Shift there are three key elements that differ from a fir tree. 

Wild edibles expert Greg Osowski says there are a few parts of a spruce tree you can eat, but the best are the spruce buds in the spring. 8:35
  • Spruce is not friendly. The needles are painful if you brush up against it or grab it. Fir is friendly.
  • Spruce needles grow all the way around the twig, fir comes out on opposite sides on the twig almost laying flat.
  • Bark on spruce is scaly and pink-grey, depending on the spruce. The fir is darker in color and it's got bubbles on the bark which is filled with the sap.

Once you've got your spruce, here's what you should be eating.

The inner bark, the sap and the new buds that arrive each spring.

Osowski says the buds are the best part.

"They have a nice lemony tart flavor to them and then there's a slight spruce flavor to it that follows."

Osowski says he's made soda out of the buds, but they taste best in shortbread cookies.