Thursday, November 3, 2011

Late Summer Foraging Workshop - Part 3

In our next installment...let's start with Devil's Claw.

Not normally thought of as food, Devil's Claw had a texture and flavor similar to okra. The key is getting the pods when they are very young otherwise they turn woody very quickly. Just steam the pods for a few minutes until they become tender.

Alongside many of our streams and rivers you'll find Comphrey.

Comphrey is a nice, if not fairly neutral, edible green. Raw is best, but cooked is okay.

Mallow has become one of my favorite hiking snacks because of its capacity to moisten my mouth and its unmistakeable shape.

Better known as Scarlet Globe Mallow, the leaves really should be steamed for best results. The plant grows year round and has tasty little flowers.

The seed pods are also edible but used more for nutrition than flavor.

On the other end of the spectrum is our abundance of flavor-packed wild grapes.

These are the hardest for me to find since I'm always looking down for plants. Every now and then I think to look up and sure enough is the tangled mess of grapes. After the first frost these will turn to raisins. Doug recommends stripping the whole vine versus plucking individual grapes.

Another prolific plant in our area is Sumac.

Locals call it lemonade plant - the sour flavor is a great infusion for a number of applications.

The final installment will come shortly.

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