Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Channeling Euell Gibbons - Palo Verde, Mesquite and Brittle Bush

When I was growing up, Euell Gibbons was featured on Grape-Nuts commercials: "Ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are edible." He followed that up by saying that Grape-Nuts "reminds me of wild hickory nuts." After many posts on plants, some of which are edible by humans, I decided to give some of them a culinary try.

The palo verde leaves and the beans inside the bean pods are edible. 
This palo verde has mostly turned to beans, but some flowers remain.
The green seeds in the green seed pods are very much like sweet peas in a pod. They even have the slightly sweet taste.
Even as the pods get older and start to dry out, beans remain good, although a little less sweet.
The leaves aren't quite so good. They were slightly bitter and certainly not something I would add to a salad unless I was very hungry.
The honey mesquite bean pod and inside beans are edible without preparation. The bean pods I were finding were deteriorating, but I was able to find some suitable to eat.
The reddish-brown bean pods are ripe.
The beans were pretty good, not as sweet as the palo verde tree beans.
The pods themselves were a different matter. I tried some and my throat was irritated by the chaff, much like the chaff from shelling peanuts, but much worse. I was not fond of the texture or taste. 
I read that brittle bush was a favorite of the chuckwalla. I did not read that it was consumed by humans (I see now that humans made tea out of the dried leaves), but decided to try the leaves. 
The petals of the brittle bush were also slightly bitter, but the texture was better than the palo verde flowers. However, I think I'll leave them for the chuckwallas.
But the beans of the palo verde and honey mesquite are not bad. 

1 comment:

  1. Euell Gibbons used to have "wild parties" where he served foraged food like this. Maybe you should throw a party.