About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
You know those diagrams in science textbooks that show the water cycle? Water evaporates from the sea and cools as it rises over the land until it condenses into clouds. Well that's where I live - where the clouds are born. It's very beautiful here, and it's also very damp. I don't yet know what I'll be writing about here. I had a blog a few years ago called, "Growing Things and Making Things," and there will be some continuity with that, but my life has moved on since then. I'm at a stage of reflection and re-evaluation - you could call it a mid life crisis - and this blog will reflect that. There'll be posts about things I'm doing - foraging, cooking, crafts, daft experiments (which may overlap with any or all of the other three) - posts about my thoughts on life, photos of beautiful Welsh scenery, maybe some Welsh language, and probably a bit of politics. Because it's important.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Foraged Food Friday: Dandelion leaves

Dandelion greens seem to be a staple of wild food, perhaps because the plant is fairly well known. Personally, I've always found the leaves too bitter to enjoy, but I've heard that if they're blanched they're much milder, so that has to be worth a try. Blanched in this context means grown without light, so the leaves end up pale and anaemic-looking.

If you're going to the trouble of depriving a plant of light for a while, this seems to me to be getting away from wild food. Even if the plant self-seeded (and they do, more than somewhat), this does seem to be an element of cultivation. On the other hand, if you move a bag of stuff that's been sitting in a corner for several months and happen to find a blanched dandelion or two underneath, well that's a different matter entirely.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), looking rather sorry for itself.
The brighter green leaves just behind are ground elder.

Having chanced upon this specimen of blanched dandelion, I picked a leaf and nibbled cautiously. Nope. Still way too bitter. You might like it - lots of people do, apparently - but it's not for me, and I'm not especially sensitive to bitter tastes.

When I said I'd eat a different food each week, I didn't say how much I'd eat, did I?

I'll try to find something tastier next week. Any suggestions?

Also harvesting this week:
Hairy bittercress, for soup
Also drinking/eating this week:
Blackberry wine
Sloe wine
Rhubarb squash
Blackcurrant fruit leather

Foraged food challenge summary page here.


  1. I'm glad you tested it blanched! I've only tried nibbling unblanched leaves and it's horribly bitter. It's that time for eating Lesser Celandine leaves, didn't we discover last year that it was best to eat them before they are flowering? Sorrel is springing up all over the place here too.

    1. Ooh yes, Lesser Celandine! I'd forgotten that would be available by now. Last year I didn't note it down until late March, so I probably missed out on quite a lot.


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