Those who appreciate nature will go wild over today’s food holiday. October 28 is National Wild Foods Day!
It’s also National Chocolate Day, but c’mon…how many separate chocolate holidays can there possibly be? (25 so far this year, to be exact, ranging from chocolate covered raisins and chocolate mousse to chocolate covered insects and bittersweet chocolate. And there are still more to come). I appreciate chocolate as much as the next person, but can you say overkill? So we’re celebrating wild foods instead.
Wild foods are defined as those that can be gathered from outdoors and eaten without any processing. Many different foods fall under this category: blackberries, huckleberries, chanterelle mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns, wild rice, maple syrup, juniper berries, dandelions, salmon, elk, oysters, etc. I love the idea behind this holiday – foraging in the woods, gathering edible plants and berries to eat – but I question the timing of it. November is just a few days away, which means many of these wild foods are out of season. I don’t trust myself to pick wild mushrooms, because one misidentified fungus and it’s lights out, and I’m not a hunter, so it’s not like I’m going to go out and bag myself a deer. Instead, we’re going to have to rely on the grocery store for our wild foods fix, which feels a little bit like the definition of “defeating the purpose,” but it’s not like we have much choice. Especially on a day in which we are flying back home from Denver.
So to celebrate, we bought a bag of elk jerky at the Denver International Airport. I suppose it would have been better if we’d bagged the elk ourselves, gutted it, smoked it, and made jerky, but we do have our limits, you know? The airport-wild elk jerky was pretty tasty!
Oh, and yeah…we also had chocolate. Oops.
- Edible Wild Plants that Could Save Your Life (directive21.com)
I gotta say…good thing you just happen to be in Denver. I don’t know where else you could have gotten that kind of jerky.
I picked wintergreen berries and made muffins once. The berries themselves were okay. Pretty mild actually. The muffins though? They were horrible. But at least I can say I foraged, made and ate something wild. Once.