I wonder if… you will try a new food

Missy wondered, “Will you try a new food?”

Were you were thinking perhaps of something made from kangaroo or wallaby? meatThey have many such products in the grocery stores, and last night some friends prepared a meal with minced wallaby. “Grass-fed!” Dan said it tasted like hamburger. I’ll let you know what he thinks of the open range, sustainable kangaroo steaks.

I prefer adventures with eating wild plants. When I arrived here, Peter took me on a walk around Windgrove and showed me many different plants that were all new to me. One kind of bush had lots of small white berries, and he told me that it was called native currant.

nativecurrents
Leucopogon parviflorus

He popped one in his mouth and offered me one to try. I did (a little nervously, because do you know what Maryland plants have whitish berries that you would not want to eat? Poison ivy and mistletoe!). It was just a little bit sweet, with a small hard seed. Every morning since then, I take a walk down to the beach and eat native currants on the way. The birds also like them, so the bushes are usually busy with breakfast customers. Another wild fruit that I tried is called native cherry. It doesn’t look or taste anything like the native cherries in Maryland, except that it’s red. It grows on a parasitic tree that looks like a pine tree, and its seed is outside of the fruit instead of in the middle.

cherry
Exocarpos cupressiformis

One of the edible wild greens along the trail is called coastal spinach or ice plant (Tetragonia implexicoma). Its leaves are very salty! There is also a plant with a pink flower called pigface that grows on the rocks along the beach. The leaves and seed capsule are also salty but juicy and tasty.

pink flower.jpg
Carpobrotus rossii

One day we had a visitor to Windgrove who was an expert at diving for seafood. When he dives, he holds his breath, so he has to know the animals’ habitat and behavior very well in order to catch them quickly. That morning he had caught abalone, crayfish, and butterfish – all new to me – and made a delicious stew for us.

Would you care to try any of these foods? Sadly, I won’t be able to bring them back with me; the airport biosecurity dogs would certainly sniff them out!

 

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