Good things to eat

Foraging – Part II

Thank you for all the great response and feedback to yesterdays first GUEST BLOG!  If  you liked that, then you are going to love this one as we get into the nitty-gritty of foraging.

So now here is Part II of the guest blog from my friend Jacquie on her adventures in Foraging.

See yesterday’s post for Part I

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FORAGING, Part 2 – The Restaurant

The Restaurant.   Photo: J. Dinsmore

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Tucked away on the banks of the l’Achigan river outside the little town of Saint-Roche-de-l’Achigan is       La Table des Jardins Sauvages, one element of the wild foods business triad run by forager François Brouillard and chef Nancy Hinton. The restaurant is housed in the restored family cottage where François spent his summers with his grandmother, picking and learning about “weeds.”

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François comes from several generations of foragers. He learned wild lore from his grandmother and has immortalized her in this memorial beside the river next to the restaurant/cottage. Photo: J. Dinsmore

Besides the restaurant, they also have a stall at the well-known Jean Talon Market in Montreal’s Little Italy, and the restaurant kitchen produces products derived from wild plants and mushrooms that are sold in the market stall, at the country restaurant and in fine food stores.

The couple’s goal is to introduce people to the delicious, healthy and useful natural world around them. Everyone knows there are edible wild mushrooms, even if they’ve never actually tasted any. And an increasing number of people have heard about fiddleheads. But what about yarrow, daisies, day lilies and cattails? Edible? You betcha!

Dinner in the restaurant is based on whatever is in season, of course, and if you’re smart you’ll go early, as we did, for François’ introduction to foraging.

The tour starts in the cocktail area with the sound of the river in the background. Photo: J. Dinsmore

François sets off down a path near the restaurant where he has transplanted some of the more common wild plants for demonstration purposes and then continues into an adjoining field.

Peppermint: flavouring and scent for many foods and hair and skin care products. Has been known to enhance memory. Photo: J. Dinsmore

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The restaurant’s gardens flourish with dozens of plants that are regularly harvested for meals and food products. Photo: J. Dinsmore

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Canadian elder: berries can be made into wine and liqueur while the flowers are used in infusions or dipped in batter and fried to make fritters. Photo: J. Dinsmore

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Milkweed: Poisonous to ingest, but the milk is very good for soothing scratches and bug bites. Photo: J. Dinsmore

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Jardins Sauvages uses all parts of the daisy, including the flower buds, which they marinate and use as capers. Photo: J. Dinsmore

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Wild garlic. Photo: J. Dinsmore

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Wild ginger. Photo: J. Dinsmore

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You then cross a homemade swinging bridge and take a look at what grows on the banks of the river.

Photo: J. Dinsmore

A multitude of useful wild plants grow in and around running water. Here are some that we brought back:

Photo: J. Dinsmore

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Check back tomorrow for Part III of Jacquie’s adventures in foraging when she tells us all about the actual meal.
 
 
 
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Comments on: "Foraging – Part II" (1)

  1. Part 2 was so good too, a lovely post! 🙂

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