zondag 15 juli 2012

The urban forage fashion police

"foraged plants and flowers can be kept in a basket"

In the Netherlands the great forage revival keeps attracting more high-profile coverage. This time I nearly fell from my seat as I recognized the face of Edwin Flores in the pages of the Margriet, a woman's weekly I associate with the reading pleasure of countless of grandmothers. I don't know Flores but earlier I reported on a forage tour he guided and I have to repeat what I said earlier: if foraging had a fashion police he would be the chief super intendant! He is "well groomed in Bear Grylls chic" and the picture above confirms it.

Mockery aside, it's great to see 'wild picking' promoted in such a magazine (ook al moet het vertrut worden om acceptabel te zijn) and perhaps, given that its readership comprises of older woman, it could perhaps, via via, release a lot of dormant plant knowledge. I mean: it would have been great if my own grandmother who was a avid reader of the Magriet (she passed away 5 years ago) on reading this article would suddenly remember forgotten uses of plants from her own youth and tell us about it. 

The obvious thing to say about the recipes is that the foraged greens, presented as a way to 'eat from nature', are almost symbolic additions to ingredients you can buy in every supermarket. The wild plants provide parts of the flavour, the rest, calories especially come from elsewhere. When looking at foraging as a political activity this is significant. There is a good post by Ian M. on foraging for Burdock that addresses some of these issues.

Pasta with smoked chicken and ground elder pesto
Bread with cheese, ham and nettle tops.

1 opmerking:

  1. The fashionalisation of everything: I recently saw (in an exhibition about "public space") a series of photos about "guerrilla gardening" where we could see a trendy couple in high heels and black shoes spreading some seeds from a minimalistic device over an immaculate grass patch on the parisian river-side.

    My question is: is it really necessary? Do such representations make any good, or we prefer to see something more "close to the ground", even if we know that it has been equally staged?