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Douglas Fir Sugar/Manna

Michael Newby
Posts: 631
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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Does anyone have any direct experience with it? I just learned of it from a California foraging book and now I'm very interested in trying some - in fact I'll be walking my woods hoping to see some this evening but my hopes aren't high.

A quick bit of googling doesn't return much recent info at all, but I did find one guy that said he managed to collect some here:

"This tree provided native peoples with a singular confection which was still made at least into the 1920s, & was known as "Douglas-fir sugar." The sugar was harvested from young branch-tips where it accumulated in the sunniest locations in the form of frost-like grains. These consist by of by weight 50% melezitose, which is a trisaccharide sugar. Our tree produces this frosty sugar each summer. I once took a half-teaspoon & dashed in into my mouth & can't say I found the flavor praiseworthy, but a people without cane or maple sugar handy for comparison would surely love it." - quoted from here

A couple of old articles mentioning Douglas Fir sugar or Douglas Fir manna as I'm going to call it from now on:

American Forestry article

Scientific American article
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