Dec 24, 2009, 5:42 PM
Post #47 of 71
This thread got me Googling......if nothing but to keep up with y'all Southern folk.
Re: [Glenn] Length of time LIVING in Mexico
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Young pokeweed leaves can be boiled three times to reduce the toxin, discarding the water after each boiling. The result is known as poke salit, or poke salad, and is occasionally available commercially. Many authorities advise against eating pokeweed even after thrice boiling, as traces of the toxin may still remain. It should never be eaten uncooked. For many decades, poke salad has been a staple of southern U.S. cuisine, despite campaigns by doctors who believed pokeweed remained toxic even after being boiled. The lingering cultural significance of Poke salad can be found in the 1969 hit song "Polk Salad Annie," written and performed by Tony Joe White, and famously covered by Elvis Presley, as well as other bands including the El Orbits of Houston, Texas.
Kind of reminds me, of my late teens, when interest in eating 'wild plants' and youthful enthusiasm was at its peak.
Took an early spring hike with intent of identifying 'Wild edible plants of B.C.' from a government issued guide. The book stated Indigenous people of our region, traditionally ate the leaves of Lysichiton americanus, sometimes called yellow skunk cabbage. This plant found in swamps and wet woods, along streams in the Pacific Northwest.
I spotted the plant, and broke off a segment of leaf, no bigger than your pinky finger nail. And nibbled. Seconds later. Found my throat severely constricted and myself gasping to get air.
Knew enough about basic first-aid to know, had been poisoned. And to dilute the poison if possible. (given kilometers away from any medical help) Knelt down at a thawing snow stream and drank copiously. My throat relaxed and easy breathing returned.
When I got back home, my emotions running the gamut between being totally thankful and royally pissed-off, reread the chapter about ingesting lysichiton americanus.
Turns out, if you studied(and remembered the whole chapter!)indigenous people, traditionally boiled salad greens three times. And threw away the water between boilings.
Sounds like a little like pokeweed:)
There's no way, in my limited understanding at that time, would have thought boiling greens 3 times and throwing the water away, would have rendered the said green, nutritious or much good for eating. My bad. Lived to tell this cautionary tale.
Need-less to say, the experience, got me reading and remembering more attentively much subject material. Less willing to live(or not!) the experience.