[Sca-cooks] Definition of "Period Cooking" was Re: Substitute for Potatoes?

Sharon Palmer ranvaig at columbus.rr.com
Tue Oct 13 10:25:31 PDT 2009

>  >
>As far as I can tell, the use of cattail roots (rhizomes) as a food (the
>core, after peeling off the woody outer shell), only dates back to Europeans
>coming to America (unless you're doing Native American cooking, in which
>case you're looking thousands of years B.C.).  Despite the fact that some
>cattails (notably, the Dwarf Cattail) are native to Eurasia, I can't find
>any record of period usage.  I have read a source that Russians consider the
>young, peeled shoots a delicacy, and, of course, both the inner flower and
>the pollen are edible, but I can't find period documentation.   Except for
>use as a building/crafting material.
>anyone else find this?  You can supposedly mash them, fry them, boil them,
>bake them, cook and dry them and use them for flour, any number of
>usages....including substituting them for potatoes.   Apparently, they're
>quite tasty, but not completely potato-like.  One author stated he preferred
>cattails, however.
>Ian of Oertha

I can't speak to period use, but 30 years ago I took a class on 
foraging wild foods.  My hazy memories that cattails shoots were 
bland but edible, and probably didn't have a lot of calories.  The 
teacher compared them to palm shoots.  I'm afraid I don't remember 
what the cattail rhizomes were like, although I think we ate them too.


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