The poky needles of spruce, fir, and pine trees are not remotely appetizing, but the bright green sprouts on the branch tips are surprisingly tender and tasty. Often used to flavor jelly, tea, and beer, spruce tips have also started to show up on the menus of some of the world’s top restaurants, such as Noma. They are versatile and easy to use, but the biggest challenge is finding and harvesting them—if you don’t happen to have a spruce tree growing nearby, don’t be afraid to do some urban foraging for this recipe, like we did here in San Francisco.
Special equipment: You will need a very clean coffee or spice grinder for this recipe.
You will also need about 20 (8-inch) paper straws.
To fill the paper straws, you will need a couple of pieces of paper, to cover your work surface and make a funnel with—any kind of paper will do. Alternatives to a paper funnel are a No. 16 Open Star or No. 5 Round piping tip. You will also need a toothpick.