The Indigenous peoples are the original peoples of North America. In the United States indigenous peoples are collectively referred to as Native Americans while in Canada they are called the First Nations. There are more than 630 First Nation communities in Canada representing more than 50 Nations and 50 Indigenous languages.
But the First Nations were not only the first inhabitants, they were also the first farmers and therefore the first cooks with their cuisines rooted in ancestral ingredients derived from over 180 plant species to include grains, roots, herbs, fruits and vegetables as well as meat and fish. They were hunters and gatherers and therefore relied heavily on food and ingredients that were readily available to them in the region where they lived. They not only each had their own language but also their recipes led to each region having their own culinary identity.
The seasoning in their recipes consisted of seeds, nuts, roots and spices for flavor and texture in their dishes. Strong, flavorful plants and herbs were cultivated and foraged to create wonderful blends to compliment the meats and vegetables. Using traditional knowledge passed down from generation to generation, elders from many communities are now creating contemporary recipes that include these blends, highlighting the ancient plants and herbs once used primarily for medicinal purposes.
Épices du Guerrier and The Warrior Blends is now using these same seasonings for our flavorful blends. One of the main ingredients, maple sugar, is a true treasure of our land! Discovered by First Nations peoples, maple sugar is an excellent source of energy and contains very few carbohydrates.
Another ingredient, once used by the First Nations as a medicinal and insect repellent, is Balsam Fir. Balsam Fir is a plant that is very capricious when it comes to harvesting and grows only in the northern regions of Quebec. Its taste and smell will delight your senses.
Let’s not forget the Dune Pepper. Once used by the First Nations as an infusion to alleviate certain flu symptoms, Dune Pepper is still today hand-picked chestnut by chestnut. The Dune Pepper adds a slight peppery and fragrant taste to our blends.
These are just a few of the wonderful ingredients that have been used for thousands of years by the First Nations of Quebec. We at Les Épices du Guerrier are very excited to bring you a cultural incursion into the heart of the eleven aboriginal nations of Quebec.