Weird things I ate in Europe/Foraging for wild foods on another continent

I used to be a pretty big forager (back when I couldn’t afford food) and even though I don’t rely on it as I once did, I still have a few favourite forage foods, like asparagus, cowslips, and chestnuts.

When I was traveling around Europe, I came across a surprising number of edible forage foods. I know everyone tries unconventional foods when they’re traveling, and I’m not usually one to photograph my food, but I thought this would make a fun post.

Beech nut
European Beech nuts are crazy delicious how did I not know this?
Sichuan pepper
Sichuan pepper, do not try unless you are willing to feel like your lips are buzzing for 45 minutes. Your tongue also gets a weird burn-y salty sensation that I have no explanation for.
Impatiens glandulifera seeds
Impatiens glandulifera (Or Himalayan Balsam) seeds. The seed pods explode so you have to be ready to catch these surprisingly delicious little invaders. They taste sort of like toasted almonds when they’re ripe. And make no mistake, this is a nasty invasive species. Just also yummy.
Corema album
Corema album, a plant on the coast of Spain. Very tart, full of hard seeds, but kind of addictive.

Not photographed, giant rose hips that were surprisingly sweet (the ones in the US are sour), but full of millions of seeds. Also tried (but hated): curly dock and Japanese knotweed. Verdict on those two: not delicious.


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