I was provided one copy of Preserving Wild Foods at no charge in order to facilitate my review by all opinions expressed are my own.
Preserving Wild Foods
Title: Preserving Wild Foods
Subtitle: A Modern Forager’s Recipes for Curing, Canning, Smoking, and Pickling
Authors: Matthew Weingarten, Raquel Pelzel
Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (November 6, 2012)
Format/Length: Paperback 256 pages
From the Publisher:
Crab apple mostarda. Instant samphire pickles. Sweet bergamot marmalade. Pickled chanterelle mushrooms. Blueberry-maple spoon fruit. Duck prosciutto. Wild ramp and walnut pesto. These and dozens of other inspired recipes from chef Matthew Weingarten show you how to preserve — by curing, canning, smoking, and pickling — a wide range of wild ingredients foraged from the sea, fields, forests, and fresh water. Clear instructions make small-batch preserving techniques easy to learn, from smoking fish to putting up jam, pickling vegetables, and curing meat. Whether you forage in the wild or at the farmers’ market, you’ll delight in making and enjoying these unique preserves.
About the Authors:
Matthew Weingarten is a New York City-based chef who has garnered great acclaim for his heritage comfort food. His food reflects a strong sense of place and season, and he is a committed proponent of sustainability and authenticity. He is a director on the board of Chefs Collaborative and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Award-winning writer Raquel Pelzel has collaborated with professional chefs on thirteen cookbooks, including the James Beard-nominatedDamGoodSweet and Masala Farm. She is the senior food editor for TastingTable.com and a former editor at Cook’s Illustrated. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
I have always been fascinated with wildcrafting and living off the land, although I admit that I have never actually tried preserving wild foods in real life. Living in the suburbs where my neighbors all have this intense need to spray pesticides and fertilizers all over their property doesn’t provide a very good source of wild food sources. Preserving Wild Foods is an interesting combination of preserving handbook, cookbook, and personal memoir. I found the layout of the book interesting since it is divided into the type of environment. For example, you have chapters for the coastline, pastures, gardens and fields, forest and woods, wetlands, etc. The beginning of the book is the ‘preserving’ part of the book. Primarily the author talks about canning, although does mention other ways of preserving wild foods as well. If you have never canned before, this is not a really in depth look at how to can foods. I have never tackled canning and when I do I will probably buy an entire book dedicated to just that process.
The array of recipes in Preserving Wild Foods is really impressive. The author covers not only what you would harvest from the earth but also a few animal based products like eggs, milk, fish, beef, etc. The recipes themselves are unique and manage to be both elegant and rustic at the same time. There are a few recipes for garden grown items that I am looking forward to trying like the watermelon pickles and a geranium-tomato jam.
I enjoyed reading through Preserving Wild Foods and I think the author’s personality and unique voice really comes through as you read it. While I am not sure I will find a lot of the food items in this book unless I go to a farmer’s market there are definitely a few that I will be able to tackle without too much trouble. If you are a foodie that enjoys living off the land I think you will really enjoy Preserving Wild Foods.
Disclaimer: In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials.”: I received one copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. Some of the links in this post may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.