Thursday, November 11, 2010

Book Review by Cascadia Weekly

An excerpt from the article Wild Food - Foraging for Feasts, by Amy Kepferle:
     Focusing on 50 sustainable wild foods culled from the “long feast table” spanning from southwest Alaska to California’s Point Conception and the Cascades crest, Hahn—with the help of canny photographer Mac Smith—has collected a variety of recipes and stories that can point the way for both intrepid outdoorsmen and casual explorers to incorporate wild food into their lives.

     “Since the great Ice Age,” Hahn writes in the book’s introduction, “this 3,000-mile-long table is where Northwest Coast indigenous people traversed rain forests, clam-squirting beaches, wildflower meadows, muskegs and river estuaries to gather all the food, medicine and supplies needed to live. From alder-smoked salmon to dwarf blueberries, Dungeness crab to fern crosiers, the flavors, textures, colors and aromas of ocean and earth filled their canoes, cedar storage boxes and communal feast dishes.”

     Hahn is careful to point out, though, that just because the wild foodstuffs are out there doesn’t mean hunters and gatherers should treat them like a never-ending buffet. Whether you want to suck on syrupy sap from a bigleaf maple, munch on blades and leaves from bull whip kelp, eat the gonads of a green urchin or harvest stinging nettles in the spring, be sure you’re both correctly able to identify everything you put on your stove or in your mouth as well as following the harvesting guidelines and, well, rules of the road.
For the entire article, including both a reflective pause and a knee-slapping good time based on Amy's recent trip to Honduras, go to

Thank you Amy, for the wonderful review, and happy foraging!