In addition to being delicious, food sourced from the wild always has a story to tell...
As Hank Shaw said in the introduction of his book Hunt, Gather, Cook: "Adding wild food to your meals enlivens the dishes themselves as well as those who eat them. As the great forager Euell Gibbons once said, how can the talk at the table be dull when everything on the plate is a conversation piece?”
Here are a few conversation starters for your next potluck dinner.
- Axis Deer are invasive to Hawaii and are hunted / harvested for their meat year-round as a way of controlling their otherwise explosive population.
- Wild Idea Buffalo company's founder has published several books about his efforts to restore the prairie—using bison as his primary tool to do so.
- Manoomin isn't technically a rice, it's a native grain that is unique to the lakes of northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. The only way to harvest it without disrupting its growth is by canoe.
- Jeju Green Tea is feral and grows without any human assistance or intervention on the Jeju Island, off the coast of South Korea.
- There are several varieties of Huckleberries, but the type in your box were hand-picked by foragers in Idaho—who pick them by the gallon in the summertime. Huckleberries prefer hilly conditions and a mix of sun and shade.
- Don't drain the oil! The canned tuna in your Wild Harvest Box has no water added—it is filet and canned in its own natural oils. Simply mix the oil in to the meat when preparing your favorite canned tuna dish.
- Butterfish is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation, improve blood vessel function, and lower the risk of heart disease.
- All of the bison from Wild Idea Buffalo Company live their entire lives on the Great Plains. They are never finished on grain, or transferred to a processing facility. Their entire life is spent in the elements, up until the point when they are field-harvested, field-processed, and prepared for human consumption.
I hope these talking points inspire curiosity at your next dinner gathering. There is a whole wide world of amazing things happening out there, and the dinners centered around these ingredients are just one small way of pausing to appreciate it all.