Friday, June 22, 2012

Book review: The Wild Table

I came across this book about a week ago, and I was extremely excited about finding it. I was not disappointed. This book is an amalgamation of many of my favorite things: food, wild harvesting, cooking, and sustainability. While this book is targeting a North American audience, many of the foods outlined in this book are found where I am currently living in the Azores, and they also can also be found where I was previously living in Turkey.

I should note that this is not an identification guide.Great hints are given for proper identification, but a good guidebook or two, and if you are lucky, a local wild food gatherer as well, should join you on your harvesting trips.

Overall, I found this an entertaining read, and I was very inspired to get out and search my local area even more for wild foods.

From the publisher:
A captivating cookbook by a renowned forager of wild edibles-with more than one hundred sumptuous recipes and full-color photographs. In the last decade, the celebration of organic foods, farmer's markets, and artisanal producers has dovetailed with a renewed passion for wild delicacies. On the forefront of this movement is longtime "huntress" Connie Green, who sells her gathered goods across the country and to Napa Valley's finest chefs including Thomas Keller and Michael Mina.

Taking readers into the woods and on the roadside, The Wild Table features more than forty wild mushrooms, plants, and berries- from prize morels and chanterelles to fennel, ramps, winter greens, huckleberries, and more. Grouped by season (including Indian Summer), the delectable recipes-from Hedgehog Mushroom and Carmelized Onion Tart and Bacon-Wrapped Duck Stuffed Morels, to homemade Mulberry Ice Cream- provide step-by-step cooking techniques, explain how to find and prepare each ingredient, and feature several signature dishes from noted chefs. Each section also features enchanting essays capturing the essence of each ingredient, along with stories of foraging in the natural world.

The Wild Table is an invitation to the romantic, mysterious, and delicious world of exotic foraged food. With gorgeous photography throughout, this book will appeal to any serious gatherer, but it will also transport the armchair forager and bring to life the abundant flavors around us.

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