Wild foods are catching on

A new restaurant is opening in Portland with a focus on wild game and wild produce. Chef Eric Bechard of McMinnville's Thistle is still thinking of a name, but they are busy raising some of the animals that will be served such as wood pigeon (featured below), American blue rabbit, fallow deer and canvasback duck. 

 The animals will also be processed using whole animal butchery and smoking, pickling and curing will also be included. This fare offers a sustainable option for sourcing foods by raising it close to where it is being consumed. In addition to the the meat the restaurant will also have greenhouse for growing produce and herbs. Wild mushrooms will also be a part of the menu.
Nettles are a wild food commonly used for culinary purposes.


Chanterelles cannot be cultivated successfully. The only option is to find them wildly.

 Wild crafting foods locally reduces how far food travels before it is consumed at the table. Wild foods often have more nutrition since they are exposed to varied substrates and conditions then those their cultivated counterparts.

Here is an example of some of the menu items: 


Whole braised then grilled rabbit for two (carved tableside)

Pickled elk tongue with its heart, marrow and rose hips

Wood pigeon and root pie for two 

Roasted and raw matsutake with sprouted emmer and smoked apples

Razor clams cooked in shell with spruce and rhubarb juice

Smoked pheasant soup with brassicas, chestnut dumplings and pickled chestnuts

Beetroot, yoghurt, dill, horseradish and oxalis

Stinging nettle and wild garlic soup with duck egg and wood lettuce

Black urchin in vinegar with wood lilly, wild ginger and cress

Birch syrup pie with soured milk

Blood pancakes with huckleberries and hazelnuts


Source: http://www.oregonlive.com/dining/index.ssf/2012/11/thistles_eric_bechard_opening.html

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