diana chapman
Fri, 18 Apr 2003 06:59:56 PDT
 Diana in the past has told us about her tests eating
 some of California's bulbs.

 What has Diana tried?

Hi Mark:

I do some demonstrations in the spring for Native American tribes on the
traditional uses of bulbs.  This is usually for food, although Chlorogalum
pomeridianum is used for soap, and the fiber is used to make beautiful
brushes that are used to brush the acorn meal out of the mortar.  Almost all
California bulbs can be eaten except for Zigadenus (deadly poisonous), and
were eaten raw, boiled or baked.  Most of these were in the Brodiaea group,
and have a nutty flavor.  Camassia bulbs were prized as food.  They taste
very starchy if boiled, but if baked in a pit for a couple of days they
develop a very sweet flavor, and were then flattened and dried, sort of like
a cookie!  I haven't been able to duplicate this method, since it was done
in a huge pit with many layers of bulbs alternated with damp green alder

By the way - acorns are bitter because they contain tannins.  They are
ground and leached for hours to remove the tannins, and acorn soup has a
sort of bland nutty flavor.  If it's bitter it hasn't been leached enough.


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