Special Sub-Topic: Appalachian Edibles
|What time of year is "hog killing" time, traditionally?|
Late autumn to early winter.. November is the usual month for hog killing, according to my grandmother.
|This leafy green grows wild along the edges of fields usually, and can be eaten like any other green. What is it called?|
Poke Sallet. Poke Sallet can be prepared any number of ways, depending on who you talk to. Some people say you have to pour off your water several times and replace it with fresh, so as to boil all the poison out before eating! I have neither confirmed nor disproven whether Poke Sallet is really poisonous or not.
|These wild grapes grow along roadsides and paths. What are they called?|
Muscadines. Muscadines, also called Scuppernongs, are very sweet and are usually much larger than grapes. The Native Americans first cultivated them 400 years ago. Maypops are hollow pods that grow on vines, but are inedible. However if one is thrown down it usually bursts with a loud pop. Thus the name.
|This wild green vine has large leaves and is the bane of homeowners across the south. Its also edible! What is it called?|
Kudzu. Kudzu is often times refered to, fondly, as "the vine that ate the South". Originating as a botanical display, this plant has taken root in the Southeast US, covering over 7 MILLION acres of land! In the summer it can propagate at the staggering rate of over a foot a day! Its leaves, roots, and blooms are all ingredients in many recipes though. It also is the favorite food of goats and other livestock.
|These nuts were once a mainstay of the Appalacian diet, until a ecological tragedy wiped out almost every one of these trees. What were these nuts called?|
Chestnuts. The North American Chestnut tree was once one of the most awe inspiring sights in the mountains. Standing well over 100 ft. tall, they filled the forests of the Appalachians. Folklore says that they were so big that a man could lay across a chestnut stump and stretch out his arms and legs without hanging over the edge. It has also been said that they were so plentiful that a squirrel could travel from Maine to Georgia without leaving the branches of the chestnuts. In the early 1900's Asian Chestnut trees were brought to New York City, to decorate Park Ave. They carried a disease called "Chestnut Blight". Though these trees were immune to it, the N. American variety were not. Every single tree on the east coast died by the 1950's. The only remaining specimens are in the western US, where Chestnut Blight has not reached yet.
|These small, green plants are relatives of the wild onion. They have a powerful smell. What are they?|
Ramps. Ramps are similar to wild onions and smell much like an onion or garlic. However it is said that they taste devine. Ramps grow in the deepest recesses of mountain hollows, usually near watersheds. They can either be fried or sauted and eaten alone or with eggs or greens.
|The Native Cherokee refered to these three crops as "The Three Sisters". What were they?|
Beans, Corn, and Squash. They grew these every year.
|These two meat dishes are made with cornmeal. What are they?|
Scrapple and Liver Mush. These two items are both made from pork, and are usually eaten for breakfast.
|Acorns are edible.|
t. The Native Cherokee have several recipes for acorns, although one cannot simply pick them up and start snacking away.
|What is the most common preparation for squirrel?|
dumplings. Squirrel dumplings are made in much the same manner as chicken and dumplings.
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