Wednesday, November 24, 2010

That's Wild: The Tastes of the Last Frontier

Today in the New York Times, Oliver Strand and Joe Distefando dig into chefs' hunger for truly seasonal ingredients: wild harvestable fruits, flowers, nuts, leaves, pods and needles. They write, "Increasingly, in an era when truffles are farmed and Whole Foods sells fresh porcini, the ingredients that chefs seek are not the ones anyone can order; they’re the ones that few have ever heard of. They are the most unusual, not the most expensive. And even if they’re plentiful, they’re exclusive: you need either to know where to go and what to gather, or who to call." If you're in search of your own resource, start by talking to the farmer purveyors at your local greenmarket, go online to Vermont's Wild Gourmet Food, or head over to lower Manhattan's regular New Amsterdam Market.

Or head on out for a night out on the town.

Whether it is sea buckthorn sorbet at Toque in Montreal, trout with sumac berry at Tennessee's Blackberry Farm, or licorice fern at Eleven Madison Park, chefs are utilizing the best, most exciting, most unusual ingredients found in the American wild.

Jeff Ross of Blackberry Farm forages nearly 5,000 acres of woodlands for

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