Friday, July 26, 2013
Eating Wild Foods while Hiking
If you know me, you know that I like to eat things that I found out in nature. I find it a really fun way to interact with nature and the flavors you find in the wild are often evoke your taste buds in a very unfamiliar and delightful way. This "habit" of mine has led me into trouble - like the time I ate a Prickly Pear cactus fruit with my bare hands, or the time I gulped down a leaf of water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) before our guide in Palo Verde National Park in Costa Rica warned me of the tiny calcium oxalate needle-like crystals that cover it's leaves and burned my throat for hours, or the time I most recently ate a fresh cherry off a tree just to be reminded that it was growing on a polluted brown field. But despite all of my misguided tastings, there have been quite a few really amazing dishes that have come out of my wild foraging tendencies. I've foraged for over 5 kilos of wild mushrooms in the forests of Davos, Switzerland (I was not on the linked excursion, rather, I was hobby foraging with some friends). I have discovered snacks while passing barberry bushes in Switzerland, sea grapes in Florida, bilberries in the Swiss Alps, wineberries back home in Maryland, and many more things as I've roamed through natural areas.
Outside Magazine recently published an article on the top 8 Hikes You Can Eat. I love this idea! I would definitely travel simply to hike and eat things from the wild along the way! It's kind of like a survival-foodie trip. Would you do it?
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