Friday, May 2, 2008

Yummy conservation

I am forever looking for new and exotic things to put on the dinner table. I always search for the wild game items on restaurant menus. I own a guide to the edible plants of Arizona and I've harvested mesquite beans and picked prickly pear fruit. I've also shot a variety of cute, cuddly critters, all in the search for something different and delicious. Now, it seems, I've been doing a public service -- well, at least to the extent that I have adventurous tastes that help fuel demand for otherwise neglected foods. Says the New York Times:

SOME people would just as soon ignore the culinary potential of the Carolina flying squirrel or the Waldoboro green neck rutabaga. To them, the creamy Hutterite soup bean is too obscure and the Tennessee fainting goat, which keels over when startled, sounds more like a sideshow act than the centerpiece of a barbecue.

But not Gary Paul Nabhan. He has spent most of the past four years compiling a list of endangered plants and animals that were once fairly commonplace in American kitchens but are now threatened, endangered or essentially extinct in the marketplace. He has set out to save them, which often involves urging people to eat them.

Nabhan has put together a book, Renewing America’s Food Traditions: Saving and Savoring the Continent’s Most Endangered Foods, on just this subject. It sounds ... tasty.

Don't forget to thank me for my personal efforts.



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