The Feisty Forager: Wild Ginger
March Madness — Day 27
Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense), or foalsfoot, is a low growing ground cover with a generous network of rhizomes, velvety heart-shaped leaves, and a burgundy-brown flower which appears under the leaves at ground level.
The rhizome is both gingery and peppery, although not as potent as the ginger we are used to consuming, which is purported to be native of Southeast Asia.
There is conflicting information as to the safety of consuming quantities of the root. I have often diced up portions and thrown them in a stir fry to no ill effect. Steeping the roots to make a tea is considered a relatively safe way to savor wild ginger’s qualities, as is boiling it in sugar water and then rolling in granulated sugar, to serve as candy.
As with anything, moderation is advised. Err at your own risk!
This article is one of a month-long series of foraged treasures. For more recipes from the field and forest, check out Appalachian Appetite: Recipes from the Heart of America.