Now I’ve heard everything. People in New Jersey are eating their Christmas trees. Believe it or not, the tree you cut down and dragged into your living room is begging to be added to your recipes according to farm-to-table chefs in New Jersey.
Do you love how that Christmas tree smells in your home? Well, apparently it offers the same savory notes to your stews, casseroles, and even hot teas.
I’m not just talking garnish here, people are preparing their tree tips and needles like a side of broccoli rabe and wolfing it right down.
First things first, you can only eat certain types of Christmas trees. Here are your options:
Edible conifer trees are available year-round and there is even an edible Christmas Tree Guide and Cookbook! You can read some of those here. In particular, this desert recipe looks so amazing that I'm going to have to make this with my daughters next year!
However, some doctors are warning against the practice unless you are cutting down your tree from deep into the woods away from pollution like car exhaust or even pesticides.
Dr. Karla Robinson said,
You don’t know in many cases where your tree came from, you don’t know if it was treated with any pesticides or chemicals that could potentially harm you in ingested.
Dr. Karla also warns that eating the wrong kind of tree needles could be dangerous.
Some trees that we know are harmful are trees like cypress and cedar trees. The needles are very sharp, so if you think about putting something like that in your mouth and swallowing it, it could get stuck in your esophagus and your stomach.
I can see using the needles as a spice, in fact, they even look like rosemary. If the proper needles are dried for a month (blue spruce needles) can be pulverized in a spice grinder into a very flavorful spice.
In case you want more traditional food choices here is a list of all the places the Food Network highlighted in Jersey.