Gingembre Sauvage

Ark of taste
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Gingembre sauvage (“wild ginger”), or asaret du Canada, is the local name for Asarum canadense, a wild plant that grows in partially shaded maple forests such as the Laurentian Mixed Forest on the Canada-US border. It has green, heart-shaped leaves and its flower, which blooms between April and June, is purple and fades to red. Gingembre sauvage is picked from early spring until autumn. The root is the most consumed part of the plant. Its flavor resembles that of true ginger (though they are unrelated), and it is used in similar ways in the kitchen, in fresh, dried, or powdered form. The product is used fresh, dried, or even as a powder. The culture of collecting and using wild herbs was common among Quebecois families and especially indigenous peoples before the industrialization of the food system, but is now being lost. Very few people harvest gingembre sauvage, and it is only rarely available in local markets and restaurants.

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Quebec / Québec

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Spices, wild herbs and condiments

Nominated by:Bobby Grégoire