There are three different forest regions in Ontario: The Boreal Forest in Northern Ontario, Carolinian Forest in the very south west of the province and what is called the Great Lakes-St Lawrence forest region all along the southern border as well as the Quebec border (south of Pembroke) of the province. Carolinian Forests are deciduous and in Ontario predominantly made up of beech, maple, black walnut, hickory and oak trees. In the Great Lakes-St Lawrence region you find red pines, eastern white pines, eastern hemlock, yellow birch as well as maple and oak. The boreal forests are where you will mostly find white spruce, black spruce, balsam fir, jack pines, white birch, trembling aspen, tamarack and willows. Canada’s National Forest Inventory has detailed and current information on Canada’s forests available.
For each of these forest region, we have created a list of foods which are first and foremost known for their taste. We have only included those plant or tree species that are indigenous to Ontario and have known traditional uses. And finally they have made it to our list because we believe the foods could have a potential commercial interest. These lists are by no means intended to be exhaustive and you may know of many more edible plants, fruits and mushrooms growing in the forests you frequent.
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