Here at the Bean Museum, we got to kick-off homecoming weekend in a delectable fashion. Tom Smith, a wildlife biologist at BYU, shared his knowledge of food in the wild. He started by treating us to some of his foraging stories, and then shared some of his culinary creations, which included: smoked salmon, a salmon dip, and syrups from several different kinds of trees. We then headed out to BYU’s campus to find out what was edible. Some of the unsuspecting foods Tom showed us were: acorns (which can be turned into a flour and used in baking), pine needles (a good source of vitamin C), Oregon grape, day lilies (a colorful decoration to any salad), pine nuts, yew berries (which, contrary to popular belief, are not poisonous!), and sage. Tom showed us how to collect these foods for later use.
After collecting, it was back to the kitchen to try out some of these wild edibles. The favorite was cookies that Tom made with acorn flour. Some other tasty creations included: acorn-flour bread, yew berry-topped cheesecake, Oregon Grape jam, and some more salmon (baked with some of the herbs Tom collected). Needless to say, everyone left both happy and full!
Tom led the way, showing us how tasty pine needles can be.
Pine cones hide a tasty treasure, pine nuts. The best time to harvest these in Utah is the first couple weeks of September.
Yew berries make a great topping for cheesecake!
Sage is a great seasoning for wild-caught salmon.
Oregon grapes make an incredible jelly! Each guest got to take home their own jar.
Guests had the opportunity to try their hand at foraging. Sorry grounds crew!
If you would like to learn more about wild edibles, Tom suggests the book “Stalking the Wild Asparagus.” Make sure to check out the museum’s website so you don’t miss out on any other exciting events!