Test Your Eat-Q: Foraged Finds


Sure, maybe you purchased a bunch of wild ramps at the farmers' market this spring, but how much do you really know about foraged grub? Test your knowledge with the below matching quiz, which appeared in the June/July issue of JBF Notes.


1.    Claytonia
2.    Knotweed
3.    Burdock
4.    Chicory
5.    Dandelion
6.    Kelp
7.    Sorrel
8.    Prickly pear cactus
9.    Fireweed
10.  Ramps


A.    Home gardeners may think of this plant as a weed, but whether its blossom is white or yellow, the whole thing is edible, from bitter stem to mild flower.  


B.    Also known as “miner’s lettuce” because Gold Rush miners ate it as a salad green, this flowering plant tastes like spinach.


C.    This desert plant boasts a sweet, pink-colored fruit that’s delicious and refreshing once its sharp spines are cut away.


D.    This slender, leafy herb has a tart, lemony flavor and is often puréed into... Read more >

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Tastebud: Foraging from State to State


At one of our recent sustainability salons, we gained new insight into restrictions that farmers, chefs, and suppliers face when it comes to foraged food. Foraging regulations shift from state to state, creating gaps in access to local resources. In South Carolina, for example, wild mushroom regulations are more strict than in other parts of the country. While the FDA simply requires that wild mushrooms are to be inspected and approved by identification experts in order to qualify as commodities in the marketplace, South Carolina restricts any mushrooms harvested in the wild from being sold as merchandise or served in restaurants. For some members of the local community, this is a troubling waste of natural resources... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: Foraged Flavor

Would-be foragers out there should know about this exciting new book, Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmer’s Market, by Tama Matsuoka Wong, the forager for Daniel Boulud’s Daniel, and Eddy Leroux, the restaurant’s chef de cuisine. We asked Tama about some of the top foraged ingredients available at this time of year and how best to prepare them. Look for her five picks (below) in your backyard, especially in vegetable or garden beds, or ask for them at your local farmers’ market.




When plucked from the wild, the texture and flavor of this plant’s leaves are nothing like that of the packaged shiso you’ve seen at the grocery store. Try it in Shiso Tenderloin Beef Skewers.... Read more >

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Wild Food: Chefs on the Hunt for Native Ingredients


by Jessica Ferri and Alison Tozzi Liu


At one of the most revered restaurants on earth, the chef is almost as well known for the way he procures his ingredients as he is for how he cooks them. At Noma, which has held onto the coveted top slot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for the third year in a row, chef René Redzepi doesn’t just serve foods native to his homeland of Denmark—he’s often found plucking local treasures from the soil himself.


In the years since Redzepi and his compatriots struck a culinary nerve by taking locavorism to the next level, many chefs—several Redzepi protégés among them—have helped launch a worldwide foraging trend that has begun to eclipse the modernist, technique-driven focus that dominated restaurant kitchens during the past decade.


On the Job


Though there are certainly chefs who like to go out into local fields and forests to gather ingredients themselves, some restaurants now employ professional foragers... Read more >

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On the Menu: 2011 Food Trends

trendsClockwise from top left: Matthew Lightner's Willamette Valley onion salad with caramelized allium vinegar, herbs, and crisp vegetables; Three Tarts Bakery mallomars, Del Posto's one-hundred layer lasagna; flavored butters at the Girl and the Goat

‘Tis the season to be predicting trends! We know that trying to find the next big thing in food isn’t an exact science, but we do have a decent track record to fall back on: in our 2010 trend forecast, we hit the mark with macarons and meatballs. So we’re feeling pretty confident that these emerging trends will make headlines in 2011: Upscale snack cakes and candy bars: The new Lulu’s Bakery in Manhattan’s

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