T Nation

Food From the Wild

I have these wild raisins in my yard every morning. They are quite filling, but the taste and texture leaves a lot to be desired.

DB

DB is so funny.

I also find bear to be somewhat greasy tasting. My favorites are squirrel and venison (both cooked by grandma). Morel mushrooms are probably the best-ever food in the forest.

[quote]Geminspector wrote:
DB is so funny.

I also find bear to be somewhat greasy tasting. My favorites are squirrel and venison (both cooked by grandma). Morel mushrooms are probably the best-ever food in the forest.[/quote]

Agreed on both counts.

Morels highlight something important about mushrooms though - correct identification is crucial.

Here’s a morel…

[photo]17288[/photo]

Which is delicious and good to eat.

Here’s a false morel (Also known as Turban Fungus - Gyromitra esculenta)

[photo]17287[/photo]

Which is deadly poisonous if not cooked properly and has been associated as a carcinogen even when handled well.

Gathering and eating wild mushrooms is not something to be taken lightly! And if you do, the chances are you’ll only do it once.


This tasty looking morsel is Amanita phalloides.

It’s not uncommon in the UK, but rare in most parts of the US. It can be found in the San Francisco Bay area from Autumn to late winter in quite an abundance though.

It’s been found in California, Oregon, and New York too.

Eat one of these and your liver and kidneys will fail and you will die. Simple as that.

Meet the Death Cap fungus.

Like Hedo, I hunt and fish for much of my food. The deer here in Illinios essentially live in the corn and bean fields, so they are big and tasty. Geese, ducks, pheasant, quail and doves end up in my freezer every year. I have access to several lakes and ponds, so many bluegill, crappie, bass and catfish end up swimming in grease and on my dinner plate.

I also hunt for morels and hen of the woods in the spring. My neighbor and I share a wild blackberries thicket too. Homemade french vanilla ice cream on wild blackberry pie is simply phenominal.

[quote]Squiggles wrote:

Depends on how old the bear is and when you kill it. If you get a younger one in the spring, after it’s had a good share of berries and grass, the meat is sweat, and tastes really good with certain recipes.[/quote]

Like most game, the flavor really depends on what the bear has been eating. Shoot a bear in the early spring when it has been eating roots, berries and grass, and it will taste pretty good. Get one that is gorging itself on rotten salmon and the meat smells like ass. Stinky, “I ate Mexican food for a week straight” ass. No way in hell I would even try and cook that . I have had corned bear and it was incredibly good.

Grifola Fondosa, aka - Hen of the Woods. I have friends that prefer them over morels. I am indifferent.

[quote]VanderLaan wrote:
Squiggles wrote:

Depends on how old the bear is and when you kill it. If you get a younger one in the spring, after it’s had a good share of berries and grass, the meat is sweat, and tastes really good with certain recipes.

Like most game, the flavor really depends on what the bear has been eating. Shoot a bear in the early spring when it has been eating roots, berries and grass, and it will taste pretty good. Get one that is gorging itself on rotten salmon and the meat smells like ass. Stinky, “I ate Mexican food for a week straight” ass. No way in hell I would even try and cook that . I have had corned bear and it was incredibly good.
[/quote]

No matter what the bear has eaten, it still somewhat “greasy”. IMO bear is an acquired taste. Bluegills are one of my favorite foods of the north. I forgot about Hen of the Woods. My grandma makes Swissed venison with them. I am soooo hungry for grandma’s cooking.

[quote]Geminspector wrote:
No matter what the bear has eaten, it still somewhat “greasy”. IMO bear is an acquired taste. Bluegills are one of my favorite foods of the north. I forgot about Hen of the Woods. My grandma makes Swissed venison with them. I am soooo hungry for grandma’s cooking.[/quote]

Agreed. A good cook can work to negate the grease. However, bad meat is bad meat, regardless of whether it is greasy or not. I shot a spring bear in Manitoba and it was all I could do to skin it. There was no way in hell that I was going to drop that in a crockpot - greasy or not.

No bluegills in the south? I though shellcrackers and bream were pretty common down there. Few thing better than spending a spring afternoon walking around a farm pond with a cane pole dabbling crickets in and around the cattails and lilly pads.

I know what you mean about Grandma’s cooking. My Granny could cook a ditch digger’s boot and people would line up with a knife and fork. That woman has taught me all sorts of tricks in the kitchen.

This thread is driving me nuts. I won’t be able to hold out till dinner. The handful of almonds I ate just aren’t doing it after reading about game and wild mushrooms.

Dam it!

[quote]hedo wrote:
This thread is driving me nuts. I won’t be able to hold out till dinner. The handful of almonds I ate just aren’t doing it after reading about game and wild mushrooms.

Dam it![/quote]

hehe,I had to make myself a burger a minute ago from reading this thread.

[quote]dollarbill44 wrote:
I have these wild raisins in my yard every morning. They are quite filling, but the taste and texture leaves a lot to be desired.

DB[/quote]

Ahh, yes. The Portuguese black raisin.

I’m lucky to have a garden and fruit trees, but there is also lemongrass and wild mustard in the backyard (canyon). I have a neighbor that goes deep sea fishing and I was lucky to get some shark steaks last week.

Once when I was a kid we were driving through the Appalachians and we stopped at this creepy, scary little store that actually had a side of hog hanging outside and folks could go and cut their meat and then bring it in to be weighed and purchased!

The head of the Hog was on a stump and I swear it as staring at me. That wigged me out so bad I refused to get out of the car to pee.

I’ve had the squirrel, snake, turtle, dove, rabbit, snails, venison, bison, and even HAGGIS, but I there just isn’t a lot of hunting to do in San Diego.

There is a flock of wild turkeys that wander through my parking lot at work. Those I would be tempted to try.

Damn, I’m starting to feel ashamed that I’ve never tried gathering or hunting for my own food.

I’d love to try spear fishing (as in free diving with a spear gun) but there’s no where round here they do it (not actually sure about the legality of it in this country anyway).

I live in a small town surrounded by villages that consist of about 4 houses and a pub. I’ve found that these remote pubs pretty much always offer rabbit, venison, pigeon and some other meats that escape me at the moment. Whenever the opportunity arises I’ll give the weirder meats a try over the more conventional ones.

Saying that, I’ve never actually tried the pigeon. Anyone know what it tastes like (chicken I’d imagine). And at the risk of asking a stupid question, I’m guessing they’d be specially reared, not just strays taken out with an air rifle, right?

So Renton, when you inviting some of us over for a hunter gatherer party?


Here’s a couple that I picked this spring. It wasn’t a great year for them, but better than the last few.

There is one obvious and another 6 not so obvious morrel in this pic. The plants are localy known as May apples, and produce a very tart but sweet blushing white to red drupe type of fruit. If you can get them before the deer, they are very tasty.

A good sized griffon frondosa, localy known as sheeps heads.


And finaly, a good days gathering of honey mushrooms, sheeps heads, aborted entolomas, brick cap psilocibe and a couple of lepiotia that were too close to call.

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
Here’s a couple that I picked this spring. It wasn’t a great year for them, but better than the last few.
[/quote]

You MONSTER! I wondered when you would tantalize us with those mushroom pics. I pay anywhere from $40/lb to $60/lb for Morels!


Oh yea, my favorite hunting buddy, Puppy Wuppy. She can find a patch of chantarelle from a hundred yards away, then drag you to them yelping and snorting the whole way. Shes a good dog.