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dankphishin

Foraging for favorites

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I'm headed downhill later today (I'll be descending to 2,000 feet), and for foraging that means a couple of things (well, one big thing, actually): wild pineapples! I hope nobody's discovered the patch I raided last year, because they were some of the very best I'd ever eaten. If I'm very lucky, there will also be giant passionfruits, mountain grapes, and the vanilla-scented orchids (Sobralia, not true Vanilla) I like to use in ice-cream.

In all cases, there will definitely be Pelma (edible-rooted Xanthosoma) and small greens of SiguemeSigueme (Caladiums).

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In early August I was in the Maritimes and did a bit of foraging. We had a monster chanterelle harvest, and chanced on some other stuff as well... Too bad I was flying home or I would've picked a lot more!

Chanterelle woods

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Picked chanterelles

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Dried chanterelles

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A russula

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Lobster mushroom

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Pine bolete

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Bar clam (aka surf clam), false angelwing, razor clams

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Bluberries (still a bit early)

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I found a small batch of chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms yesterday. I've never had them before: any special considerations and/or favourite flavour combinations?

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Chicken of the woods indeed taste like chicken breast. They're best young and small as they get woody fast as they get larger. Not bad with shallots, cream, parsely over pasta.

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For chicken of the woods, I cut into chunks, poach in stock, dust with seasoned flour and deep fry. Sadly not found any for the past 2 autumns.

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On the weekend we went foraging along the beaches and dunes near Lawrencetown, NS with the local Naturalists Club (NOT the Naturist Club, VERY different group).

The first two images are beach pea (Lathyrus japonicus). It's too late for the pods but the leaves are mildly tasty.

The next two are sea plantain aka goose tongue (Plantago maritima). Nothing like the giant banana. They've gone to seed but the grassy leaves are quite juicy and herb-like.

Number five is a type of lovage. It sucked.

The last one is wild rose (Rosa virginiana) which is good for rose hip tea.

We also gathered up some samphire aka sea asparagus and some bay berry for tea, sadly no photos.

<edited because Windows 7 spellcheck has abandoned me>

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Edited by Peter the eater (log)

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Nice pictures, Peter. Is sea plantain very common? Having not lived near the ocean in several years I feel like I'm missing out on another dimension of foraging, although I have been known to much on sea lettuce when it turns up.

We ended up cooking the chicken-of-the-woods with onion and bacon on the campfire. What an interesting mushroom! It really does have the texture of chicken (in a good way), and everyone thought it was delicious. I think this would have to go in my top 3 mushrooms along with morelles and chanterelles (sorry oyster mushrooms).

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Martin, as far as I know the sea plantain is ubiquitous in the sandy spots beyond high tide all over Atlantic Canada.

Your 'shroom are gorgeous. My local Mycological Society has it's big foraging event this weekend in Debert and, sadly, I'm not with them. Fortunately, a friend has a porcupine for me.


Edited by Peter the eater (log)

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This was a new mushroom for me:

Lion's Mane (Hericium sp.)

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I had seen this mushroom before growing on stumps, and remember hearing it was edible, but most specimens I've seen have been a little on the old and dried out side (they turn brownish with age). This specimen was prime so I figured I would chance it. For the first taste we simply sautéed it in butter. Not the best way to eat this mushroom IMO: the texture is just a little too soft to be pleasant, and it has a somewhat creamy taste (almost like a very mild seafood chowder with a hint of chicken) which can be cloying by itself. This mushroom is made for sauce!

For trial #2 we cooked up some pasta with a béchamel sauce, with the addition of thyme and the mushrooms sautéed with pancetta. This was topped with grated gruyère. Delicious! The mushroom integrated well with the sauce and contributed a delicate but distinct flavour. I will definitely harvest this one again.

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The fiddleheads are finally emerging here, grabbed a few yesterday. Didn't get a picture but they were dinner tonight. There weren't many yet but it's raining tonight so they should really take off in the next day or two. Keeping my eye on the wild horseradish as well. I want to catch it early and get a bunch of the greens while they're still nice and tender.

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A few dishes with foraged Mother Nature's gifts.

dcarch

Ramps and shrimps

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Wild chive scapes and tilapia

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Hosta shoots and shrimps

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Ramps omelette

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Lambsquarters and lambburger

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fiddlehead fern and chicken

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Lovely presentations, dcarch!

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Thank you fuys.

Forage may be free, but it does not mean “salvage”, “rummage” or “scavenge”

dcarch

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Thank you fuys.

Forage may be free, but it does not mean “salvage”, “rummage” or “scavenge”

dcarch

Sorry, the "F" key is right next to the "G" key. I meant "guys"!

Thanks Janeer. Hosta is a vegetable in Japan. It taste like endive except not bitter.

dcarch

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Beautiful plates. What's the sauce on the chicken?

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This is such a fascinating thread. The only things I forage these days are what we call Chinese guavas (they look like little pomegranates which you eat skin and all) and have a delicious sweet/sour flavour. As a child, we foraged for far more interesting things. I grew up in a remote area of Namibia, and bush started where the garden ended. We would go an find 'bush plums' which were so sour my face still grimaces thinking about it. On my grandmother's family farm we foraged for Baobab pods. You crack them open, and out come the seeds along with their powdery white coating - it tastes a little like yogurt powder. You can eat them as is, or mix them with milk, which curdles into a kind of yogurt. And the only berries we ever really foraged in this part of the world are called Msobo berries - they make a wonderful deep purple jam. I believe they are a variant of Nightshade, which for some reason is not poisonous when grown in the Southern Hemisphere. I haven't seen anything like these berries anywhere else in the world. I'm suddenly so nostalgic...

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Beautiful plates. What's the sauce on the chicken?

Thanks.

Lemon chicken recipe, except I used lime.

dcarch

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Marie-Ora, Thanks for sharing that!

A pleasure - it really was so interesting reading everyone's comments! Lots of things I'd never heard of...

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Thank you fuys.

Forage may be free, but it does not mean “salvage”, “rummage” or “scavenge”

dcarch

Thanks Janeer. Hosta is a vegetable in Japan. It taste like endive except not bitter.

dcarch

the leaves look identical to the hosta plants that are popular suburban bedding plants/flowers. Are they the same? Never thought of eating them

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Thank you fuys.

Forage may be free, but it does not mean “salvage”, “rummage” or “scavenge”

dcarch

Thanks Janeer. Hosta is a vegetable in Japan. It taste like endive except not bitter.

dcarch

the leaves look identical to the hosta plants that are popular suburban bedding plants/flowers. Are they the same? Never thought of eating them

I hope so. I have been eating them for many years and I am still here. :laugh:

dcarch

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