Chefs Are Going Back to Their Roots for Local, Sustainable Foraged Foods

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Darina Allen, founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland. Eleanor Bentall / Corbis via Getty Images Chefs around the world are using foraged ingredients to add exciting, fresh and eco-friendly flavors to their menus. By searching for herbs, fruits and roots from the wild, they create fresh, flavorful dishes. They also champion sustainable practices, indigenous produce and a sense of adventure. Ultimately, these foraging chefs bring diners unique experiences closer to nature. Global food systems are trending towards industrialization and a homogenization of diets. As a result, there is almost no limit to where ingredients are available. When Indian mangoes are in New York grocery stores in the middle of winter, it can be easy for consumers to lose their connection to where food is grown. Foraging, by contrast, can spark a deeply personal connection with the earth. "It was only until I started looking for my own food … that I had started to understand that everything in nature was cyclical, everything interrelated," says Ava Chin, in her memoir Eating Wildly. Chefs who forage ingredients are changing the ways restaurants operate. Fickle, time-sensitive wild ingredients require extra creativity and care. "Whatever the arrangement, a […]

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