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Balsam Fir, Chaga & Chocolate

The Ottawa Valley is covered in a thick blanket of perfect white snow. Snow-covered trees, ice and snow-covered lakes, and ground so covered in snow that you need snow shoes to trespass where no one has shoveled or plowed. We may not always think of winter as a time to forage, but some very delicious treats can be made with winter-harvested botanicals.

Two of my favourite things to wild harvest and cook with in the winter are balsam fir (abies balsamea) and chaga mushroom (inonotus obliquus). You may not believe it until after you taste my recipes (six in total), but these two Eastern Ontario botanicals can go very well with chocolate! You can keep the balsam fir and chaga separate like the recipes or be creative and blend the two together. I find conifers compliment chaga well in hot chocolate and chai blends...

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