Friday, 4 April 2008


Joys of la cueillet

..."Edible wild plants are almost never bland. They have bright, exceedingly complex flavors that leap onto your tongue and from there into your brain, informing your inventory of aromas and flavors forever after. And after...well, there's no going back! You come to crave that kind of vibrancy that is due to a combination of simple great taste and--who knows?--your body's registering that it has just received a fabulous bouquet of potent nutrients! That's how I perceive my intoxication with wild plants, anyway."...

If you can read French and live in France (this means you, Ian!) then this sounds like a treasure-

..."the title of my current bible is Sauvages et Comestibles--Herbes, Fleurs, et Petites Salades by Marie-Claude Paume. That translates as "Wild and Edible--Herbs, Flowers, and Little Salads. A native of Provence, Mme. Paume's manual is illustrated with her own unmistakeable photos of edible wild plants. I keep her book in my hiking backpack for instant reference, and have committed many of the photos to memory."...

Oh, I would like to meet this woman who expresses my feelings so well -

..."So just what is this curious joy I experience from gathering wild foods? Part of it, admittedly, is sheer gourmandise--my stomach growling at the thought of eating these delicious plants, as well as the culinary stimulation they provide me. But it's more--and more visceral--than that. When I'm wandering a meadow under a blue sky, gathering wild leaves, I experience an animal sort of mindlessness which I find extremely pleasurable. But at the same time, it is a heightened state of mindfulness that I'm in. I'm not only intensely tuned in the visual patterns presented by the plants beneath my feet, but--if even for a few short moments--I get to live not as a human spoiler to nature--a monster smashing about with my heavy carbon footprint--but as a light-treading human in easy coexistence with what nature has to offer. I feel at home on the earth."

Now I am off to the central market to fossick and forage amongst the ingredients of the world...

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