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Apr 28, 2011
Lately, professional foragers have been turning up on more and more restaurant payrolls. These paid food gatherers go out into the woods and meadows to collect everything from mushrooms to fiddlehead ferns, ramps, nettles, and huckleberries, all destined to end up on increasingly adventurous restaurant menus. In fact, the best restaurant in the world serves moss and lichen.
Now home cooks can have professional foragers too, thanks to Wine Forest Wild Foods. Since 1979, Napa, California forager and Wine Forest founder Connie Green has been selling mushrooms and other found foods to leading Bay Area chefs. Food & Wine magazine reports that legendary French Laundry chef Thomas Keller even has her on speed dial. And recently, she's started making her finds available for home kitchens.
Wine Forest offers a variety of both "Wild Foods" and "Tamed Foods" in their website shop. You'll find a dazzling array of fresh, frozen and dried mushrooms as well as seasonings and salts, truffle oils, fennel pollen rub, and the aforementioned ramps. The Character Approved Wine Forest makes it easy for everyone to whip up something that's "restaurant exotic" right at home. Not sure what to do with fiddlehead ferns? Green can help you there too, with her cookbook, The Wild Table: Seasonal Foraged Food and Recipes.
[Images: Wine Forest Wild Foods]