Friday, July 1, 2011

Call them Cattails, Bullrush, or Raupo, they are Delicious

Typha latifolia or common cattail
Finally, The cattails near our house are starting to send up their flower stalks. So I got my good sandals wet (don't tell my wife) and harvested two of them and decided to give it a try, ala Euell Gibbons and his book- Stalking the Wild Asparagus. I harvested them when they were still quite young, about the thickness of my little finger  (that would be most people's middle finger size). The stalks are fibrous and tough as could be. It took a few minutes of twisting and tugging to finally get them off. Next time I'll bring a scissors or blade of some kind.

At home, I peeled off the husk, and tossed them in a pot of lightly salted water for 3 minutes. Then I fished them out, put just a little butter on them, and enjoyed them like corn on the cob. It was really good. Reminded me of avocado, but with a slightly grainy texture. The inside of the bright green immature flower was a very pretty yellow. Towards the bottom of the flower it was almost all stalk with just the tiniest bit of flower, but near the top it was wonderful and thick. I wonder if that wasn't the immature pollen up there... I offered some to my wife, and she took a bite but the texture disagreed with her. 

I will definitely be doing that again (but I'll leave the good sandals at home). 

The flowers in their husks

Boiled up and ready to eat. 

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