Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Spiceman’s F.M. 1410 in Dallas has the wild stuff
The Spiceman reveals his other, alternate nickname.
Other than "Spiceman", one of my nicknames as a wild food forager is "Edible Dundee"; however, being the fool I am to admit that, this nickname underscores an important aspect of what I do as opposed to who/what I am (a man for all seasons in this case).
If we can agree that most of us like to participate within a collective of experiences, ideas and tastes, culinarily speaking, in that we enjoy sharing with each other not because it benefits the entire planet (that would be nice) but at least we get to "put out there" some things that we believe are "share worthy" as they are central to why "Edible Dundee" is approved to send you his sometimes noxious e-mails, though more obnoxious than pernicious to some at times.
Wild foods often get a bad rap due to the powerful influence that a few political pariahs and prima donnas have over our ignorant hoi polloi which reminds me, I recently heard a good "Bushism" being in answer to "putting food on your family" it was "putting money on the table" and boy do I have just the table (craps anyone?) goes with my Valet Parking sign...but later about that.
Wild foods are not among the ubiquitous out-of-season, drive-through/drive-by foods that I'm certain have delivered us to the brink of self destruction or to an entropic sort of lemming's leap so to speak, but instead are the nurturing, nutritive foods of sustenance that, more importantly, are the foods that cradled the development of the human brain being rich in tri-omega amino fatty acids, vitamins, enzymes, etc., and, ironically, are best sourced from vegetation et al, specific so called "noxious weeds" like purslane, amaranths, chenopodiums as well as sea- or fresh-water-spawned foods, e.g. seaweeds and other seafoods.
Forgive me if I try to aimfully paddle my little canoe of opinion about the tsunami of misinformation as if I'm able to control where it's going but being compelled to try like the "the little canoe that could", I think I can - I think I can...I know it's really only entertainment value at this point BUT, it's not what lil' ole me thinks that counts, it's what we all collectively think and do... so there it is my friends. What are we thinking we can do today?
Regional/Local Foods In Season Within Reason: There's a domain name in there somewhere but at my domain, The F-M 1410, I can deliver the first of Spring's nutritious weeds (Salad Noxois or Weedorf Salad any one?) these are very much worth trying.
The Mexicans call them Queliites (K-lee-tays) and despite where you chart them on the evolutional scale, I rank them and their Queliites very high (not necessarily their pariahs or prima donnas). The season's first are LAMBS QUARTERS, a goosefoot/Chenopodium velvety green for $12 per pound.
FIDDLE HEADS are giant, unfurled ferns resembling the scrolled head of a violin which, in some parts, is called a fiddle thus fiddle head. Most say they are scrumptiddleyumtuous, some say otherwise (do you like asparagus?).
SEA BEANS, botanical name salicornia. These I have are cultivated from Baja, Mexico but will be wild-foraged from the Pacific Northwest in a couple of months and on the Best Seller's list this past Easter Weekend. It's a succulent, salt marsh grass that thrives on coastal, salt water estuaries where it wicks up sea salts and all their beneficial goods/minerals and flavors. You love them so far.
RHUBARB, just in -- the best, Hot House Washington State Rhubarb which is more tart than sweet and is more often, than not, companioned with strawberries.
Re-up your rhubarb need you ask why?
Re-top that fruit jar and come on by.
Like a beet top that's sweet shopped give it a try...
Scream it from a roof top "I'm bakin' rhubarb pie"!
TEXAS ARBEQUINA EXTRA VIRGIN UNFILTERED OLIVE OIL, If you don't like it, it's you, not the oil and that's OK, my friend, we don't have to like everything, even if it's REALLY GOOD, but again, it's your taste buds and not the oil, OK? Bring a vessel with a cork/top/seal if you like it as much as I and 99% of those who sample it.
WILD WATER CRESS, with a seasonal smattering of lil' white flower crowns so get it now as it will all turn to flower as cresses, mustard greens/kales/cabbages/broccolis all cruciferous greens and veg are flowering.
COMING SOON: RAMPS, these are wild leeks indigenous to the Carolinas and Appalachian Mountains. Broad, dove-tailed tops, white-throat and red-toothed having a distinctive leek flavor beyond description. So beautiful I hate to see them fade away into dishes that don't do them justice however, their flavor transcends its physical manifestation and ideal for prolonged Easterisms.
WILD ASPARAGUS in May from France, but I haven't seen the price yet (exchange rate rather) this could make it cost prohibitive but I doubt it because too many Chefs are clamoring for it. May I say it'll be available in MAY? OK. MORELS are in there somewhere too...just check in if inquiring minds need to know.
JOSE RICO FARM's Asian Mustard Greens (Mizuna, Red Mustards, Tatsoi) Red Russian Kale, Wild Arugula, Baby Arugula, Lollo Rossa, Red Oak, Red Romaine, Other Stuff too, very fresh.
FRESH HERBS! Basil, Chervil, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme.
ORGANICALLY GROWN ESCAROLE, RUBY SWISS CHARD, LACINATO KALE, CELERY ROOT, SUNCHOKES, LARGE GOLD BEETS W/TOPS $3/BUNCH.
MICRO GREENS, BULLS BLOOD BEETS, CILANTRO, ARUGULA, CHERVIL, PEPPER CRESS, RAINBOW MIXED MICRO GREENS
PECOS, TEXAS HEIRLOOMS TOMATOES -- GAP, stay tuned...maybe this Friday with Cocktail Tomatoes.
ARTICHOKE TULIPS, Hand-trimmed artichokes. The idea is to cook all the artichokes together and put them up in Olive Oil, Herbs and fresh Lemon Juice, Garlic, etc., then take them out as needed or sit down and eat them all at once but eating them all with a few friends is much less harmful than eating them all by yourself.
LOCAL, ORGANIC EAST TEXAS LEEKS. One of my favorite things to do in a remote corner of a grocery store (like what else do I like to do there?) is to hi-jack the store intercom and announce that "There's a LEEK in the produce department"!!! We had a special on LEAKS last Tuesday at the F-M due to rain and had to close early.
MUSHROOMS, I still have more 'shrooms than you need and all that you want PITCH 'TIL YA WIN: Black Trumpets, Hedge Hogs, Yellow Feet are the Wildest, Abalone, King Oyster, Shiitake and Shimejii are all the cultivated exotics I have until Thursday.
Source: Spiceman's F.M. 1410
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