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April 5-11, 2006

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5 Things to Love

Wild Foods

By Stett Holbrook


FOOD IS SO tame these days. Walk into a grocery store and you'd be hard pressed to find anything to eat that isn't man-made, mass-produced or otherwise manipulated. But when you can find them, wild foods offer a connection to the earth and sea that is becoming increasingly rare.

Fiddleheads A classic spring delicacy, these tight coils of young ferns taste like a milder version of asparagus.

Mushrooms In spite of man's best efforts, some mushrooms defy cultivation. Chanterelles, candy cap, lobster, matsutake, morel and porcini mushrooms are some of the best. Fresh morels are the quintessential spring fungus.

Seafood Wild fish is the easiest way to eat on the wild side. Alaskan halibut is particularly good right now.

Seaweed Nori, the seaweed that's used to wrap sushi, is usually farmed, but there are several locally harvested varieties like sea palm, wakame, sea lettuce and kombu that offer a nutrient-packed and delicious taste of the sea.

Truffles The ultimate wild delicacy. The winter white truffle season is over, but look out for the more affordable black truffle this summer.


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