I read and purchase a lot of foraging/plant identification books and I definitely have a favorite. It is so old and dog-eared from being read and revisited over the years. I even purchase reissues for new little tidbits of edibles but cling to my old copy. It has always been my favorite, my go-to for identification and information. That is until this week when I received Wild Edibles by Sergei Boutenko. This book is clear, concise, and thoughtfully written for both novice foragers and those who know a thing or two.
|My favorite page|
This practical guide is chock full of photographs that clearly identify edibles with multiple shots for distinction. I have yet to encounter a book that does this so well. If words (like leaf shapes) are unfamiliar, the reader can flip to the back of the book to find drawings of common foraging words and diagrams. Included along with identification are uses, nutritional information (very detailed), helpful tips, identification tricks, cautionary advise about look alikes, and flavor. He also includes conservation and gathering etiquette.
The story of Sergei's lifelong adventure with wild edibles makes a great read as well. His enthusiasm for foraging and eating healthfully while respecting the earth comes through on every page. He ends the book with 67 recipes that are inventive with flavors and textures and allow for flexibility of wild ingredients.
Not a book reader, or want something hand to always have with you? Sergei created an app with identification techniques, photos, and nutritional information. Check it out here.