What is foraging and how is it used in the kitchen

What is foraging and how is it used in the kitchen

Have you already heard of foraging? Going through woods and fields in search of wild herbs is increasingly fashionable.

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Foraging refers to the activity of collecting herbs and wild plants in natural areas, such as mountains, woods, fields, areas near rivers or along beaches, knowing how to recognize edible plant species.

What is foraging
Knowing the spontaneous varieties suitable for human consumption is an indispensable condition of foraging since there are several toxic plant species. How important is also to choose the most suitable collection areas and do it respecting the environment. It is therefore necessary to have a good botanical preparation. The goal of foraging is to get wild plant food that will then be used in the kitchen or to prepare cocktails and infusions, that's why being sure of the edibility of what you collect is no small detail.

Benefits of foraging
Inserting wild herbs and plants harvested by hand in uncontaminated environments allows you to feed yourself with foods with a high nutritional value, at no cost and to discover unusual flavors. Foraging brings nature closer to its rhythms, improving awareness of what we eat, the availability of raw materials and their nutritional power.

Foraging in the kitchen
Forgotten for years, now wild plants and herbs have been rediscovered in the kitchen, also in light of a new ecological and environmental awareness. Once the foraging was widespread, grandmothers and great-grandmothers went to meadows and fields to collect berries, berries, dandelions, rocket and wild chicory, respecting a subsistence economy, where nothing was thrown away, especially not the gifts of nature were wasted. Then with the advent of supermarkets where everything is ready and always available, this good and healthy habit has been forgotten. Nordic cuisine has thought of it, where lichens, berries and barks triumph to remind us of the importance of foraging.

Flowers, leaves and herbs have been cleared by haute cuisine chefs and a growing curiosity about wild and spontaneous foods has spread. If some herbs are used to thinking of them as foods, such as chicory, this is not the case with trees such as linden, birch, spruce, beech, whose internal bark, leaves, sap, resins are tasty and edible. Acacia flowers and field daisies are also suitable for human consumption. Herbs, flowers, leaves and plants become precious ingredients for herbal teas, infusions, cocktails, omelettes, risottos, condiments, raw or cooked side dishes, filled with fresh pasta or savory pies. Some of these foods can also be fermented or they can be put in salt and oil.

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