Pete Mulvihill on Springtime Foraging in the Bay Area

Don’t forget: the book mentioned below is available at 20 percent off for tablehopper readers for two weeks following this mention at Green Apple Books—simply use the code “tablehopper” at checkout (either at the store or online) for your discount.

The Bay Area Forager: Your Guide to Edible Wild Plants of the San Francisco Bay Area

The Bay Area Forager: Your Guide to Edible Wild Plants of the San Francisco Bay Area
Mia Andler and Kevin Feinstein

Spring is in full swing, and there is free food out there awaiting adventurous foragers. To that end, consider picking up a copy of the newly reissued The Bay Area Forager: Your Guide to Edible Wild Plants of the San Francisco Bay Area by Mia Andler and Kevin Feinstein ($24.95).

This book takes the form of a field guide. After a few short chapters on why to forage, how to do so responsibly, and how to best use the book, The Bay Area Forager starts in the safest place: with what NOT to eat. Seems smart, and the full-color photos and thorough descriptions of the “usual suspects” are quite clear.

From there, it’s an alphabetical listing of free, wild grub from acorns to yerba buena. Each listing includes what it looks like, when it’s available, where to find it, how to use it, and notes on sustainability. While it’s not a cookbook, there are occasional recipes or advice on making tea or beer or such.

I’m not sure how inspired I am to run out and nibble madrone berries (described, at their worst, like “bitter earwax”). But packing the book on a hike and showing the kids just how many plants one can eat certainly appeals.

Notably absent are mushrooms—none are listed herein, though there are certainly plenty of good books on the subject already.

So if you’re an adventurous eater or a curious frequenter of the outdoors, consider picking up a copy of The Bay Area Forager.

Thanks for reading.