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Wild Food Foraging: Gourmet Dining for Free

Outback Grub Postcards

Send "Wild Food" ePostcards from the Australian Outback All sorts of wonderful free ecards depicting various Australian wild foods... berries, watermelon, clams, grubs... you name it!  Click Here and Click Here

Could wild food foraging and gourmet wild food dining be going mainstream?

One of my fondest memories of growing up in Michigan was wandering with my grandfather through the woods behind the house and picking wild strawberries in the spring.  And then later on in the year, there was an abundance of wild blackberries, raspberries and blueberries.  And all of my uncles hunted and fished.  So eating "wild" was part of life as I knew it "back then".

Many years later I worked for a fancy wholesale produce company in Asheville North Carolina.  It was my job to call on the chefs at the better restaurants in town and let them know about what was "in season".  I would carry baskets of the latest delectables with me and often these baskets were filled with items like fiddleheads and wild mushrooms and edible wild violets -- all from local foragers who supplemented their income by wandering through the fields and woods.   Whether it's morels and fiddleheads gathered in the forest in spring and served in the fanciest restaurants ... or grubs and insects downed as part of a gross-out exercise on primetime TV, it seems that little by little our "cultivated tastes" are returning to their natural "hunter-gatherer" state.  And there's mounting evidence that it's a healthy state indeed

The Business of Wild Food

First Nations Group gets $50,000 to Develop Wild Food Products

Wild Food in the News

NatureNode Recipe Swap

Real Men Eat Ferns

The Wild Food Gourmet

Wild Harvest.com : Gourmet recipes for Ramps. Fiddleheads. Chanterelles. Morels. 

Even more beer and food lovers will get to sample the delights of Monteith's Wildfood Challenge this year when Dunedin joins the three main regions as one of the hosts.
 

"The Challenge, which brings together the exotic tastes of Wild food with the different flavours of Monteith's beers, has become so popular since its inception three years ago that organisers are taking it further South.

"We are delighted to be able to include Dunedin in the Challenge and that even more people will be able to enjoy some of the best wild food and beer New Zealand has to offer," says Monteith's Master Brewer, Keith Armstrong.

After starting out in Auckland's restaurant haven, Ponsonby, in 1998, the Challenge proved so successful it was immediately extended last year to include downtown Wellington and Christchurch.

The aim of the Challenge is for chefs to create two dishes to match two of the five Monteith's beers - the popular Original Ale, Celtic Red, Golden Lager, Black Beer and Pilsner.

The only criteria are that wild - or non-farm produced - food is used (excluding endangered species, of course) and that normal health and safety regulations are followed.

The chefs are encouraged to use as much innovation and creativity they can muster to produce taste sensations all wild food fanciers and beer lovers will relish.

"The Challenge... brings together the exotic tastes of Wild food with the different flavors of Monteith's beers...."

Edible Insects

Bugfood II: Insects As Food

Bugfood III: Insect Snacks from Around the World

Bay Area Bug Eating Society San Francisco Entomophagists 

Food Insects Newsletter  includes numerous articles such as Fried Grasshoppers: For Cookouts or at Home and Insect Festivals of North America

Huang's Bug Eating Page has LOTS of pictures of people eating bugs!

Famous Slugs of Oregon

Recipes

Insect Recipes

Iowa State University's Tasty Insect Recipes as featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Utterly Outrageous Recipes

Books on Edible Insects:

Man Eating Bugs  "...one first-class book documenting the primitive and contemporary traditions of eating insects all around the world...."

Entertaining with Insects: The Original Guide To Insect Cookery is the classic book of gourmet insect recipes for every occasion

Gift Insects

Chocolate Covered Crickets  Click on "Tour of Farm" then on Chocolate Covered Crickets in left nav bar.

 

Wild Fish and Game

WARNING: Do NOT even TOUCH armadillos!  They are suspected of spreading leprosy!  CLICK HERE for details

Wild Game from Field to Table

Safe Handling of Wild Game Meats

Wild Game Meats

Use Safe Preserving Methods with Wild Game

Fishing in Siberia

Fish And Game Recipes

".... if your weasel tastes bad, stop blaming the weasel.  You’ve probably overcooked it...."

101 Testicle Recipes and Fun Facts

Grilled Mackerel at the Beach  "It is not unusual to have a school swim very close to shore during the spring or fall. When this happens you can wade in the surf and scoop a few for a great dinner on a beach campfire...."

His Recipes: Fried rattlesnake, squirrel cacciatore, rabbit cobbler... and more!

Recipes for the best ending to great hunting and fishing outdoor adventures.
The Secret to Moist and Delicious Venison and Game Meats: 250 DEGREES

Alaska Outdoor Journal: What's Cooking?

Arielle's Recipe Archives: Variety Meats

Cabela's Cooking

Chris' Hunting Page: Wild Game Recipes

Cooking with SusieQ's Wild Boar Recipes

Linda's Wild Side

Barbequed Alligator Tail

Exotic Meat Recipes

Maisie Stewart's Kitchen

Moose Recipes (see also Wild Game)

Game Recipes

Wild Game Recipes

Wild Game Recipes (another!)

And MORE Wild Game Recipes

And Yet More Wild Game Recipes

And MORE!

And even more

Eating Nature: Ducks and Geese

Fish: Field Care and Recipes

Fisher's Wild Game Recipes

Outdoor and Wild Game Cuisine

The Sporting Chef's Recipe Page

Venison Recipes

 

Urban Foraging is Chic

"Wildman" Steve Brill has gone from being arrested for removing plants from Central Park to being a local hero and something of a celebrity known for leading wild foraging field trips in Central Park.

"Wildman" Steve Brill: Wild food and ecology tours in NYC and environs.

Eating Central Park

Violet blossoms and leaves make a tasty addition to a spring salad.

 As I browse through bookstores, both online and off, I am amazed at how many books have been written on the subject of foraging for wild food ...particularly in the past 5 years.  There are several of my favorites below.

After reading quite a few of these books, I am somewhat comforted by the fact that I could indeed not only survive by foraging wild plants and fish, but that it would be a healthy and delicious way of living as well. 

Here are some books and other resources on wild food and foraging.

Books on Foraging for Wild Food

cover

The Neighborhood Forager: A Guide for the Wild Food Gourmet by Robert K. Henderson  Unique, practical guide for the wild food gourmet! In The Neighborhood Forager: A Guide For The Wild Food Gourmet, Robert Henderson demonstrates that foraging for wild edibles is not difficult, nor does it require special equipment or traveling to some distant swamp or forest. Indeed, there is a bounty of harvestable foodstuffs to be found in the suburbs or the city. Profusely illustrated throughout, The Neighborhood Forager is organized into chapters based on plant type and is a complete "how to" introduction for the novice wild edibles gatherer covering hundreds of widespread, delicious, nutritious species of plants within easy reach of everyone.

www.foraging.com  Excellent links site

cover

Edible Wild Plants: a North American Field Guide by Thomas S. Elias
"... Wild Plants is divided by seasons, and what is edible just in case you are surviving in nature's wonderland without fast food places just three miles down the road.... The color photographs show the shapes and colors of the leaves and berries, which makes describing a meal easier. A map of the U. S. is coded to show you where the plants are likely to grow. Additionally, there are many details about the plants, such as what part to eat and whether it can be a full meal or just a salad. One of the most important details included about the plants is a list of poisonous look-alikes... I give this five stars for photography, information, and an easy to use reference book. " Victoria Tarrani CA

God's Free Harvest

Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in the Wild

CLICK HERE for MORE Wild and Edible Plant Books

Articles on Wild Food and Foraging

You Can Become a Hardcore Forager An article from Backwoods Home magazine

Why Eat Wild Food?  

Dining on the Wilds  Learning Nature through Wild Edible Plants and Ethnobotany

How to Use Cattails As Wild Food

Modern Day Food Foraging  "....As a child, I loved to traipse along ditch banks in the spring and summer to find tender asparagus stalks, fruit, and whatever else was free and edible. Today, long hikes in the canyon wetlands, desert arroyos, and mountains find me searching for pine gum, pinon nuts, strawberries, blueberries, currents, wild garlic, mushrooms, rosehips, juniper berries, wild peas, and other goodies. Amaranth, an ancient source of flour, husk tomatoes, and Jerusalem artichokes are also freely available in our southwestern area....

"....One summer in New Mexico, I noticed a “For Sale” sign at a beautiful old estate. I also  noticed that the trees were overburdened with ripe fruit that, except for birds and insects, would all go to waste. I wrote down the telephone number of the real estate agent and planned to ask permission to harvest the fruit. Later, when I somewhat timidly called, I was surprised at how happy the realtor was to grant us permission. Looking back, I realize a large fruit drop is unsightly and makes property look abandoned and uncared for. I learned a good lesson . . . it never hurts to ask...."

Wild Food in Cornwall: Gleaning in September

South Park Man Organizes Wild Food Festival

Wild Berries

Wild Berry Postage Stamps

All About Wild Blueberries

What is a Huckleberry? "....Because they do not withstand transplanting or propagation, huckleberry bushes cannot be commercially grown, and therefore the berries must be handpicked one by one deep in the mountains. Huckleberries are a favorite of bears and bees, and consequently are adventurous to pick. Once you have tasted a Huckleberry, there is no comparison to any other berry. This wilderness factor and the scrumptious taste make Huckleberries a true delicacy...."

Wild Berries of Newfoundland and Labrador  Illustrated with colored photos

British Columbia Wild Berries  Color photos labeled edible or poisonous

Wild Berries Gathering in Siberia  Full color photos

Alaskan Wild Berries Add Special Touch to Favorite Foods

What Berries Are Safe to Eat?

Mushrooms

On the sustainability of wild mushrooms:  ".....the part you see above the ground is only a small part of the mushroom. Underground there is a web-like network of fibers, called the mycelium, which are the real "plant." The part of the mushroom that we see is roughly equivalent to the apple on a tree. When we pick it, the plant itself is undisturbed, in the same way that a fruit tree is undisturbed when we pick fruit.

"In addition, wild mushrooms don't need to be sprayed, plowed, weeded or even planted. They find and make their own way in wild places, among wild things. If we are lucky enough to stumble across them, they make a delicious meal. Sautιed in butter or olive oil with a bit of garlic or onion, they have a wild and woodsy flavor which is difficult to describe....." 

A WORD OF CAUTION:  Some mushrooms are deadly poisonous and you should only eat a mushroom if you are very experienced and are absolutely certain of what you have picked!

Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms

Frank's Michigan Morels  Some excellent "how to" tips

Identifying Morels and False Morels

Missouri's Mushrooms

Mushrooms in Greece

Myco Electronica  

Ralph's Finest Fungi Fancier File  

The Great Morel Site

The World of Mushrooms  Good starting point.

Tom Volk's Fungi  includes "Fungus of the Month" with excellent photos

Treasures From the Kingdom of Fungi  Wonderful photos!

Cooking on the Go

Manifold Destiny: The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine

Actual Photos of Cooking Being Done on Car's Manifold

Eating On (or From) the Road

Road Kill

Guess that mess... 
guess what it is.... 
you'll eat for free!
Road Kill Cafe Menu

Car Talk's Road Kill Cafe Menu 
"You kill it we grill it"  

Road Kill Cafe Mug 

Turning Road Kill Into Food 

"When Officer Bryan Riddle sees a fresh road-killed deer on the highway, he thinks 'Mmmmm, dinner.'

"The Anne Arundel County, Maryland, police officer responded to hundreds of deer accidents and saw lots of venison go to waste. So he started a program with other officers and businesses to give deer meat from roadkills to charity....."

Flattened Fauna : A Field Guide to Common Animals of Roads, Streets, and Highways

Road Kill Venison Chili

Ted's Original Texas Road Kill Chili

The Original Road Kill Cookbook  $5

The Totaled Road Kill Cookbook

Bridgejumping.co.uk Road Kill Game Recipes

Some really weird recipes for just about EVERYTHING!!!

 

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