Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love and the Perfect Meal

Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love and the Perfect Meal

Ava Chin

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1451656203

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In this touching and informative memoir about foraging for food in New York City, Ava Chin finds sustenance...and so much more.

Urban foraging is the new frontier of foraging for foods, and it's all about eating better, healthier, and more sustainably, no matter where you live. Time named foraging the "latest obsession of haute cuisine," but the quest to connect with food and nature is timeless and universal.

Ava Chin, aka the "Urban Forager," is an experienced master of the quest. Raised in Queens, New York, by a single mother and loving Chinese grandparents, Chin takes off on an emotional journey to make sense of her family ties and romantic failures when her beloved grandmother becomes seriously ill. She retreats into the urban wilds, where parks and backyards provide not only rare and delicious edible plants, but a wellspring of wisdom.

As the seasons turn, Chin begins to view her life with new "foraging eyes," experiencing the world as a place of plenty and variety, where every element--from flora to fauna to fungi--is interconnected and interdependent. Her experiences in nature put her on a path to self-discovery, leading to reconciliation with her family and finding true love.

Divided into chapters devoted to a variety of edible and medicinal plants, with recipes and culinary information, Eating Wildly will stir your emotions and enliven your taste buds.

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station. “My car’s right there,” I said, stepping out of the restaurant. It took only a few minutes to reach his station on Flatbush Avenue, where he could catch the 2 or 3 to Manhattan’s Upper West Side. We sat there for a moment after I turned off the ignition. “Well, thanks for the ride,” Robert finally said, staring ahead out the window. Then, undoing his seat belt, he grabbed his bag. “Happy birthday,” he said, leaning over and kissing me on the mouth. The kiss was warm and spectacular.

established in the late 1800s. American composer John Cage—who was so wild about fungi that he created entire musical scores based on mushroom sites—was a co-founder who had revived and revamped the club, turning it into a Society in the 1960s. The New York Times Local had dubbed Bill the “Mushroom Man,” and I had seen a video of him seated at his piano, affably singing the society’s anthem. I described my mushrooms to him over the phone, including the fairy ring and where I’d found them. “Did

and State’s Department of Transportation—under whose jurisdiction fell sidewalk and roadside embankments (and the plants and fruiting trees growing along them)—but the city agency appeared stymied by my questioning and said that they would get back to me. (No one ever did.) I couldn’t get a response from the state DOT. Occasionally, someone (mostly online) became offended after reading about my foraging ventures. Wasn’t it selfish? What if everyone did what I did—there wouldn’t be anything left!

saw, and in one unbelievably swift motion, he cut through the branches and lowered the entire swarm into the waiting bucket. There was an almost collective sigh as I closed the lid, and our gang of onlookers came forward to take a closer look. Ken, the publicist, held the flip camera out in one hand, as Jim started getting into describing the nitty-gritty of swarming, really hamming it up for the video. “The workers and drones gorge themselves on honey,” he said, using his hands like goal posts

Defense of Nature’s Most Unloved Plants. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2010. Moerman, Daniel E. Native American Medicinal Plants: An Ethnobotanical Dictionary. Portland, OR: Timber Press, 2009. National Park Service, Plant Conservation Alliance’s Alien Plant Working Group, www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/alpe1.htm. Peterson, Lee Allen. Peterson Field Guides Edible Wild Plants: Eastern/Central North America. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1977. Peterson, Roger Tory, and Margaret McKenny. Peterson

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