Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wild Food in the Desert

Note: These little yellow jewels were NOT good.
My mouth watered for days when I would see them around
and when I finally went out on my own and looked for them
and found them, I was really let down. Maybe they werent ready?

I LOVE wild food foraging. Its probably one of the better
hobbies a modern human could have right now.

Unfortunately, in the northern US there is no wild edibles
coming around for a few months. I could probably tap
some birch and maples for sap, or look for some over-wintering
berry shrubs, but otherwise the prospects are bleak.

Luckily Im down in the US Southwest and things are popping
like crazy. I see citrus trees ALL OVER and even lots of prickly
pear cactus. Everything is flowering now so hopefully soon
I can try some other cacti fruits. Patience!!

This was all I found after about an hour of walking
around the neighborhood though, but again this was a few
weeks ago and whats funny is that when you drive around
you see some prickly pears LOADED with these plump
little morsels, and others are completely barren. Who knows?

Remember to get those spines off too.
I had one stuck in my throat last time and good lord
was that ever a bad time. Eventually it came out though.

Going back to the citrus...its everywhere.
I know its not wild, but it is foraging at least.
Whats sad is that allot of it is these things called
Sour Oranges or Mock Oranges. They taste like lemons.
Whats the deal? Do they grow better? Why would someone
plant a citrus tree that really didnt taste optimal?
They are good for juicing and making marmalade though.

Ive been eating lots more citrus lately.
My egg creams have taken a little break.
Im still doing the kefir with berries, but lately
Ive been having 3-4 tangelos or grapefruits a day which
is a nice change of pace for me...it IS much warmer here.

Maybe the idea of dietary TENDENCIES is better
than the whole "I am a vegetarian or an omnivore or a vegan"
all the time. I love the "flexitarian" ethos...
not clinging necessarily to simply one mode of eating and
embracing the change that always seems to comes our way.
And a little room to wiggle is never a bad thing.
We do have to go out to eat sometimes with "regular" folks.

But if you have the chance to include more wild foods
onto your plate I highly suggest doing so.
There is nothing fresher and stronger than those foods.
When I go into whole foods and look around at the produce
aisle I see lots and lots of domestication...
foods that need total coddling from humans to make it.

That food is healthy of course, but when we are talking
about true life-force and resilience, wild food is clearly the winner.
Sidenote - Rawstrength mailed me some wintergreen berries
that she recently picked and it was my first time eating them.
WOW do they ever taste like wintergreen chewing gum.
If you find yourself in an area with wintergreen growing
(think poor acidic soils and lots of pine trees)
definitely look around for those little red gumdrops.

I just mailed out the truffles to the winners today
so hopefully they will be there by the end of the week!
An we have another giveaway coming soon!