Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wild Edible Foods!

We recently bought Nature's Garden, Samuel Thayers book on foraging for wild edible plants, and I can't say enough about how awesome it is. Not only does the book go into great detail about 40 or so American wild edibles, but 98% can be found in North Carolina where we live. Samuel provides enough information to make you feel confident about exploring wild food in a safe manner. As Sam explains, you should never eat anything you're not absolutely confident about, but learning to tell the difference between wild varieties can often be as easy as telling the difference between a head of cabbage and a head of iceberg lettuce. We can all do it, it just takes basic observation skills, committment, and time.

Our first foray into wild food was not in Thayer's book, but since I'd observed and researched the above mushroom over an extended period, we felt very safe digging in. This is a cauliflower mushroom and is typically found at the base of conifers in our region during the late summer and early fall. Even though we were super confident on our identification, we took Samuel's advice and only ate a few bites the first night as never know how you'll react to any new food - wild or otherwise. Fortunately, we found this mushroom simply delectable!

Day two we went all out - spicy Guinea Hog burgers topped with Guinea Hog bacon, cheese, and sauteed wild mushroom . . . yummmmmmmmm!

We will definitely try this one again!