Thursday, May 10, 2012

Forager's Diary... My First Love

If I had to claim a "gateway" plant for my foraging habit, it would have to be the wood sorrel, which we used to jokingly call "sourgrass". Wood sorrel has a pleasantly tangy taste, and I would typically just eat it out of hand while weeding the garden as a kid. The plant (genus Oxalis) contains good quantities of vitamin C but also contains oxalic acid, also found in spinach, which is toxic in large quantities (it just goes to show you that you have to eat a wide variety of foodstuffs). As luck would have it, it's growing in profusion on one of the sites I work.

Once again, the Wildman is the go-to guy on foraged vegetable matter. Green Deane's "Eat the Weeds" series is also an invaluable resource:





Of course, the wood sorrel looks a lot like clover, which is also edible, though I have to confess, I've only eaten clover blossoms. In Jamaica, "sorrel" refers to the red hibiscus, which is used to make a delicious punch (I remember having to bite my tongue to keep from laughing when I received a bottle of "Ho-Made" brand sorrel punch at a local Jamaican restaurant a number of years ago. I kept the bottle for a while, but have misplaced it in a succession of moves over the years.

10 comments:

Smut Clyde said...

Speaking of Oxalis, I yam what I yam.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

A new thing I learned! I would have just assumed it was clover.

P.S. The Frank Fetch Park hibiscus are not out yet (it'll get down to 43 tonight...I'm thinking it's safe), but there is an enthusiastic gardener in German Village with many, many hibiscus and they are blooming.
~

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

P.S. "Ignore the weeds", she says.
~

vacuumslayer said...

Yay! Foraging! Hey...I'm gonna go look up and see if there are any foraging cookbooks...

vacuumslayer said...

Yup.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Speaking of Oxalis, I yam what I yam.

I love the colors on those tubers!

A new thing I learned! I would have just assumed it was clover.

And you would have cheated yourself out of a tasty salad ingredient.

P.S. "Ignore the weeds", she says.

I'd rather eat them.

Yay! Foraging! Hey...I'm gonna go look up and see if there are any foraging cookbooks...

Have you tried your hand at it?

wiley said...

Me and the cousins called that stuff "clover" too. It's good and sour. Honeysuckle was another childhood favorite, and though they weren't exotic or a weed, pecans made for some great foraging.

vacuumslayer said...

Have you tried your hand at it?

You know, I haven't...but I've been so inspired by your series on foraging, I'm thinking about scouring our new place for good eatin'.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Me and the cousins called that stuff "clover" too. It's good and sour.

Isn't it good? I wonder how it would go in an omelet, get a sorta-Greek "egg and lemon" effect...

You know, I haven't...but I've been so inspired by your series on foraging, I'm thinking about scouring our new place for good eatin'.

When do you move? Also a warning, it will become a habit once you begin!

vacuumslayer said...

In less than 2 months!