Spices & Herbs

Épices de Cru Bee Balm


In a nutshell: Fragrant bee balm is an excellent addition to desserts and delicate tajines and chicken dishes.

Bee balm (Monarda fistulosa), also know as wild bergamot or horsemint, is beloved by bees and makes a fine and delicate honey. It was used by Native Americans in a tea said to be good for colds and flu and was grown in the USA commercially in the last century to make thymol essential oil for antiseptic medications. Its petals have a pink hue, sometimes bordering on lilac. The leaves bear an intense perfume reminiscent of oranges, roses and geraniums, with slight peppery and spicy notes. It can be served with creamy desserts such as flans or panna cotta. Also an excellent addition to marshmallows or home-made nougat. Bee balm, like rose, couples well with saffron, cardamom, pistachios and raspberries. Try it  in your chicken dishes, or even mixed with other spices for a tajine. We love sprinkling onto our fruit salads too!

Our Bee Balm is grown in Quebec’s boreal forests, just north of Lac St-Jean, in semi-wild patches designed to maximise flavour after the harvest.

Details: 10g jar

About Épices de Cru
Épices de Cru began in 1982 as a catering partnership between Philippe and Ethné de Vienne. Their mission was a kind of “cooking pot anthropology:” learning the secrets of family cooking around the world and applying these techniques to the needs of hungry Montrealers. The secret, they learned, was spices. Over the last two decades, Philippe and Ethné have searched for the world’s best spices, accompanied by their children, Marika and Arik. The de Viennes believe in direct sourcing spices: visiting growing regions, spending time with growers, and developing personal relationships that last decades. In 2004, they officially opened their first spice shop in Montreal’s fantastic Jean Talon market– it’s since become a mecca for foodies from all over the world. I first visited in 2008 and have been buying and using their spices on a regular basis ever since that first exciting visit. They steadfastly maintain that they do nothing original, only facilitating the exchange of culinary common sense from one place to another. But, what they do is simply quite brilliant - by providing us with the finest quality ingredients, and their superb spice mixes, we can all experiment with unusual spices and recreate delicious recipes from around the world.

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