Learn how to find wild foods in the mountains of North Carolina.
This post was made possible with partnership with No Taste Like Home, Wild Foraging Tours & Classes. All opinions are my own.
Whenever I visit a new place the first thing I look up is their food tourism. I absolutely love learning about local cuisine of the places I visit– from cooking classes to food tours, each place has something unique to offer.
Asheville, is no exception. This town is a foodie mecca in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. From farm to table restaurants, to a plethora of different food tours, Asheville makes a great Food (and beer) getaway.
One of the tours that really stands out from the crowd is No Taste Like Home, a fully-immersive foraging tour filled with wild food, new friends, and a beautiful scenery.
How To Forage
There’s something so special about finding your own food. When I was in Sweden I was itching to forage and find some mushrooms or berries but I never knew where to go. So when I discovered this tour put on by Alan Muskat I knew I needed to reserve a spot for my sister and I.
Each tour is unique due to the nature of the season. Because of this, No Taste Like Home forages in different areas around Asheville, making each tour completely new every time.
Today we were taken to an open meadow about 25 minutes outside of Downtown Asheville. It’s there we met up with our guide, Becky Beyer a spunky homesteader who blogs over at Blood and Spicebush.
Our group was small, and with two helpers aiding Becky, it was very easy to ask questions and get one-on-one forage instruction.
The first plant we came in contact with was found beneath our feet–literally! In between the grass laid small clusters of peppermint, so sweet and floral once you placed it against your nose. We picked a few leaves and plopped it into our baskets.
Our next find was neither a fruit or a vegetable but a nut! As we collected immature black walnuts Becky shared with us that these unripe walnuts can be infused in vodka to create nocino, an Italian bittersweet alcoholic liqueur. We grabbed a few handfuls and proceeded to our next wild food.
We crossed to a larger meadow filled with wild grasses and berries. Along the way our guide pointed out varieties of plants and let us taste everything that we found. I especially liked the wood sorrel, which is widely known as the sour clover.
Once our baskets were full, Becky led us to an old barn set up with tables, chairs, and some cooking utensils. I got to get my hands a little dirty and cut up some of our bounty to cook and eat.
How To Cook Foraged Foods
Cooking foraged foods is not unlike cooking gardened produce. I find it so much fun to be able to see your food straight from the ground to my plate, you just have to try it!
Today’s recipe was a simple one which I would love to duplicate over and over again. Too bad these greens don’t grow as freely in Florida!
We first started with a bit of coconut oil in a heated sauté pan. Then we added stinging nettle and violet leaves to the pan and sautéed them until they were crisp and crunchy. Becky added a little hint of sumac (which she dried and ground), dried onion grass from a few days prior, and some salt.
Let me tell you, it was AMAZING. I couldn’t eat enough of it.
But there was more.
Becky had also prepared a spicebush soda for us to try. It made the perfect meal while enjoying the view of the meadows and mountains.
After eating, Becky and our other guides went through our bags to double check each of our treasures and labeled them with the name and things we can make with them (like tea or salad). If you plan ahead (and sadly we did not) you can even bring your foraged food to one of the local restaurants in Asheville where they will prepare a free appetizer for you using your find. Too cool!
If you would like to take this tour yourself (and I highly recommend it) here is all the information you need:
- 3 Hours
- 20-40 minutes from Downtown Asheville
- 10-20 different wild foods
- Sampling Cook up
- Take home catch of the day OR bring to partner restaurant for a free appetizer
- 1 1/2 Hours
- 5 minutes from Downtown Asheville
- 6-10 different wild foods
- Free appetizer
Book Your Tour At No Taste Like Home
Love to Travel? Check out some of these other articles:
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Study Abroad
- 7 Ways To Be An Eco-Traveler
- Why I Love Traveling with my Sister