I know a bit about food but this has been a revelation, this foraging lark, not like growing/rearing your own food (which i know well, which i grew up with)…this is a new skill to learn, now you have to become a bit of a detective…but its easy here in the Italian countryside with someone who knows what he is talking about and in a relatively “safe” patch of land. Researching into foraging in Scotland, i keep finding scary stories of middle class dinner parties going awry with people ending up on dialysis machines due to eating the wrong kind of mushrooms (allegedly experienced foragers too!!!! click here for THAT full story) think i will steer clear of the fungi for now, but am definitely going to give the rest of it a go.
More stuff we found:
Dandelions (dente di leone – get their name from their leaves that are characterised by jaggy lions teeth shaped edges), along with nettles are probably the easiest thing to find, cos we all know what they look like. You can eat the flowers and the young tender leaves in salads, but the fields are full of similar faux yellow dandeliony looking plants. One of the ways to tell if its a real dandelion is the hollow stem.
THE HAUL…including, wild asparagus, pungitopo*, garlic mustard, silver beet (cultivated) wild garlic/chives, a kind of chicory…recipes to follow in the next day or two…
For a much more comprehensive and expert guide to foraging click here
* pungitopo seems to have lots of common names in english like: Butcher’s Broom, Kneeholy, Knee Holly, Kneeholm, Jew’s Myrtle, Sweet Broom, Pettigree, none of which i had heard of before. Anyway its hardy, it thrives in shady situations and is found in the UK so look for it!
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