Food in the Backcountry – Big Leaf Maples
The flowers are best harvested when the trees leaves are just beginning to open up. The longer you wait to harvest the flowers the less tender and more fibrous the flowers become.
To harvest them you want to break them off at the base of the green stem. And to eat them you can simply just take a bite – stem and all. They are also great mixed into a salad or fry them up for a delicious treat.
Even though maple syrup comes from maple trees, big leaf maples are not commonly used for this. It’s taste is more earthy than traditional maple syrup. The maple syrup you put on your pancakes, assuming it is real, is most likely from sugar maples.
So, take some time and add these great little flowers to your salad or make it fun and fry them up with the kids for a delicious afternoon treat!