My Favorite Puha Story
My favorite Puha story.
I really love storytelling, discovering new folklore, history, legends, myths, stories relating to wild plants & their beautifully intertwined connection with humans & culture around the world. You can learn so much about both humans and plants by the stories that surround them.
I've always had a thing for folklore & myths, as well as human behaviour & culture (I studied Cultural Anthropology at Uni). When I got into foraging in the Swiss / Italian Alps, I loved to hear all the stories from the elderly in the traditional villages who told me about each wild plant, what their grandparents used it for, superstitions, how to cook it the way their grandma does, family stories etc etc.
Something I love about teaching foraging workshops, is hearing the stories that people come up with about plants. There's all sorts of random anecdotes, family stories etc etc.
This one actually came from my fb page, where someone wrote a comment on a post I wrote about puha (you'll find the full length article on my website), & it's quickly become my favorite.
Here goes. So to prepare Puha for cooking, it's best to wash and rub or pound the leaves & stems to reduce bitterness. Some people do this under running water and rub it with their hands, some use a rolling pin on the bench, and then this one guy said that when he was a kid, his Dad would gather the Puha, stick it in a plastic bag, lay it out in the driveway, everyone would jump into the back of the car, and then Dad would proceed to drive backwards & forwards across the puha to reduce the bitterness. All out.
This is by far my favorite story, and to the guy that shared it THANK YOU, I've lost track of who you are but THANK YOU, I love this!
This from a friend in Italy: Ciao Felicity I have a lot wild puha in my garden, in sicilian dialect is called “cardedda”. My best recipes is raw in salad and pan-fried with olive oil and garlic, with pasta when water boils, cook puha with pasta and then season with oil, garlic and chilli pepper!
Anyways, you can learn all about Puha, how to accurately identify it, prepare & cook it, recipes, folklore, medicinal & nutritional info etc in my latest Foraging Guide