Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Marsh Marigold or Cowslip (Caltha palustris)--Surprisingly Mild

Samuel Thayer, our most esteemed authority on wild plant foods, has this to say about the marsh marigold. "The problem with marsh marigold greens . . . is that they inherently taste bad. . . Only by adding seasoning, cream, gravy, or other embellishments does cowslip become fit to serve to dinner guests."

I hate to disagree with Mr. Thayer, but we don't share his dismal view of this green. Ooga and I both prefer very mild flavors. We buy mild salsa that is more sweet than hot. We avoid curries and most Indian food. We really like crackers. When we read Thayer's writings on the cowslip, we were trepidatious about this unknown plant. We needn't have worried. Perhaps the plants are less acrid here in New England than they are in the Midwest. Maybe Thayer was hoping for something more exciting. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that anything boiled in enough changes of water (we did three waters) is toned down. Whatever the reason, these greens tasted just fine to us.

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