Edibility of Bulbs

William Whitson bill@cultivariable.com
Fri, 08 Feb 2019 20:01:48 PST
Dahlia roots range widely in flavor.  The majority of the ornamentals
aren't that appealing, but sometimes you'll find one that tastes good.
They taste better after being exposed to cold weather, as is true for most
roots in the sunflower family.  Kaiser Wilhelm is one that is pretty widely
available that is sweet and non-fibrous.  Your odds of finding good ones
are better when growing from seed.  It is an inulin rich root, so not
everyone tolerates it well - similar to sunchokes.

Camas is nice, but requires really long cooking times to avoid terrible gas.

Tigridia and Erythronium are both well worth exploring for edible
potential.  Not all Erythroniums seem to be equally edible.  E. dens-canis
is probably the most commonly eaten.  I had a hard time after trying E.
oregonum and I'm not sure if it was coincidence or toxicity, so I have been
reluctant to try it again.  Frittilarias are nice, but hard to get a meal
out of.  Commelina has the opposite problem - plenty to eat, but the
texture is hard to get used to.

Bill

On Fri, Feb 8, 2019 at 7:41 PM Judy Glattstein <jgglatt@gmail.com> wrote:

> Setting aside all the kitchen "lilies" (onions, shallots, garlic, et al
> that are culinary mainstays) there are other bulbs that we think of as
> ornamentals but which are edible. Dahlias were originally raised for
> food. Breeding for flower power may have reduced their flavor. I don't
> know anyone who has sampled them. Camassia were an important food
> resource in the Pacific Northwest, to the extent that battles were waged
> by the indigenous people over gathering rights to productive meadows. As
> an aside, Sacajawea fed camassia to Lewis and Clark on their expedition
> westward. The Dutch ate tulip bulbs during the Hunger Winter of World
> War II. In Italy, lampascioni is made with the pickled //bulbs of tassel
> hyacinth, Muscari comosum//.
>
> Judy in New Jersey where winter is returning. Quite windy, and
> temperatures have dropped below the freezing point.
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