Posts Tagged ‘foraging’

Get Educated About Wild Mushrooms

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We love wild mushrooms at Fiesta Farms and always try to keep a nice selection of mushrooms on hand in our produce department. So we are very excited to share news about a cooking class coming to Toronto that is all about our favourite fungi! Continue »



It’s A Good Year For the (Edible) Orange Daylilies

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Daylily, hemerocallis fulva, good enough to eat.

It’s been a gonzo year for the orange daylilies. The hot, sunny weather brought hundreds of blooms to my daylily stand. Species daylilies are one of the easiest perennial plants to grow, are great for cut flowers, but did you know you can also eat them? Don’t try to do this with the the modern hybrids. While there are many gorgeous hybrid daylilies, the species orange ones are said to be the tastiest. The tubers, which are part of their root system (and also help them get through the drought we’ve been having) can be cooked, as well as the early shoots, flower buds and flowers. Some think that daylilies are poisonous, but that is usually due to mixing up the common name, daylily, with actual true lilies, which are not edible.

The species, or common orange daylily’s real Latin name is hemerocallis fulva. Hemerocallis means “beautiful for a day”, or hēmera “day” and  kalos “beautiful.” Fulva means tawny (in colour). While each flower stays open for only a day, they still work well as cut flowers.  As each flower scape has many flower buds, just remove the finished bloom, and the others will flower in turn.

Young daylily shoots, which are the first, tender leaf tips that come up in spring are said to taste like onion-y string beans by foraging expert Steve Brill.  He suggests this cooking method : It’s too late now, but remember this one for next year!

Chop and use the young shoots raw in salads or sandwiches, or steam, sauté or stir-fry them. Add them to soups, stews or casseroles. Virtually any cooking method works with them, and their tasty, string bean/onion flavor always shines through, no matter what other ingredients or spices accompany them. They cook in 10 to 15 minutes. Use shoots under 8 inches tall.

Tubers can be dug without harming the plant. Dig some up, cut off some of the tubers, which look a little like fingerling potatoes, and then cover up the roots again. Here’s a recipe for daylily fritters,  which uses the flower buds in a light batter. It’s best to pick buds which are still green-looking. Here’s a recipe for pan-seared daylily buds. This author/cook calls them poor man’s asparagus.

The only downside to the fulva daylily is its tendency to spread wildly. The newer hybrids stay in easy-to-manage circular clumps. But if you have space for daylilies to roam, and don’t mind if they roam far, go ahead and plant. Otherwise, I’ve seen clumps of daylily planted in enclosed areas like hell strips that stop the daylily from getting out of hand.

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Where the Wild Things Are

Euell Gibbons, known to many of us as that fellow who shilled Grape Nuts cereal in the seventies, was one of the earliest proponents of the wild food movement and an avid outdoorsman who popularized the living off the land movement in a time when people were freaking out over TANG orange crystals and marveling at the convenience of  instant mashed potatoes. His seminal book, Stalking the Wild Asparagus, published in 1962 is still considered by many to be the bible in the canon of wild and natural foods literature. Continue »



Interview with Hank Shaw

James Beard nominated food writer, Hank Shaw, is coming to Toronto this weekend on his international book tour for his book “Hunt Gather Cook”. He’ll be doing a cooking demo at the Brickworks tomorrow, attending Foodstock on Sunday and doing an interview and book signing at the Drake on Monday night. As he drives across the USA on his way to our fair city he found the time to make a pit stop and answer a few questions. Continue »