Sunday, 18 May 2008

Spring shoots!

In april and may, whenever I walk past a fir hedge, I can't help but instinctively reach my hand for some bright green fir shoots. Ah, I don't think I'm the only one doing that (and I mean doing that after the age of ten;)). They are, after all, so pleasantly sour and packed with vitamins.

Fir shoots are actually a funny subject. Because whenever I tell someone that one can use them in actual dishes, in addition to just nibbling on them from time to time while outside, people answer 'ohhh, hmmm, yeees, I've never actally thought about it'.

But fir shoots are really healthy as well, when not polluted by a nearby street. Syrup and tea made with them should work well when trying to get rid of cough and cold, but also tiredness and nervousness. They liven blood circulation and even have a slightly antibiotic effect!
(yes, now would be the right time to stop asking the question 'are you sure it's okay to eat them?')

Here's my first experiment with fir shoots:)

Fir shoot butter

Bright green fir shoots
Butter at room temperature
(sea)salt, pepper
  1. Rinse the fir shoots
  2. If you want a soft butter, throw the shoots into boiling water, boil for about 10 minutes, then chop into little pieces. Using fresh shoots will result in a crunchier, but brighter butter.
  3. Mix the chopped fir shoots with soft butter and flavour with salt and pepper.

It's great to eat the butter with a simple crunchy bread, but I can imagine it being wonderful with meat, vegetables or young potatoes..oh yes. A scrumptious sour fir-y taste, somehow homely.

Next I'd like to throw some fir shoots into casseroles and salads. I've also found recipes for flavoured oil, tea, syrup, chicken roast, marmalade and ice cream coctail using fir sprouts. If you're interested, I'm ready to translate or try them out:)
And if you've got ideas of your own...I'm one big ear!


Julie said...

How interesting, I was not aware that you could eat these.

Evelin said...

I was not aware there were people who didn't know this! I think that in Estonia almost everyone has eaten them when they were kids...:)

liina said...

I'm Estonian and I've never eaten fir shoots :) What do they taste like?

Evelin said...

liina, oi:D kujuta ette sellist värsket kuusemetsa lõhna ning lisa sellele mõnusat hapukust. nõnda maitsevadki:)

Susan said...

OH. MY. GOD. !!! I've had Italian pine honey, but never fir butter. Amazing and enchanting!