The New Wildcrafted Cuisine
By Pascal Baudar. Wild foods have become increasingly popular. This book explores the flavors of local terroir, combining the research and knowledge of plants and landscape with the fascinating and innovative techniques of a master food preserver and self-described “culinary alchemist.” The author views his home terrain of southern California (mountain, desert, chaparral, and seashore) as a culinary playground, full of wild plants and other edible and delicious foods (even insects) that once were gathered and used by native peoples but that have only recently begun to be re-explored and appreciated. For instance, he uses various barks to make smoked vinegars, and combines ants, plants, and insect sugar to brew primitive beers. Stems of aromatic plants are used to make skewers. Selected rocks become grinding stones, griddles, or plates. Even fallen leaves and other natural materials from the forest floor can be utilized to impart a truly local flavor to meats and vegetables, one that captures and expresses the essence of season and place. This beautifully photographed book offers up dozens of creative recipes and instructions for preparing a pantry full of preserved foods. And though the author’s own palette of wild foods are mostly common to southern California, readers everywhere can apply Baudar’s deep foraging wisdom and experience to explore their own bioregions and find an astonishing array of plants and other materials that can be used in their own kitchens. 432 pages, hardcover.