So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Thursday, March 31, 2016
Survival Food in the Cold North
This is the starving time of the year here in the Great North Woods. Picture life hundreds of years ago before food was easily transported around the globe. To survive a northern winter food grown in the summer would have to last until things started growing again. Sometimes harvests were poor and not enough was stored. There's not a lot of wild foods available in the early spring.
One readily available food is rock tripe. Rock_tripe Lichens that grow on rock don't sound very appetizing. To be honest, the best thing that can be said about the flavor is that they don't taste terrible. Kinda reminds me of eating dead leaves.
So what's the attraction? It's readily available and actually quite nutritions. There are records of arctic expeditions surviving on nothing else for months at a time. Beats starving to death.
Many years ago I did an experiment about this time of year in the western mountains of Maine. I tried to live off the land in the mountains. For three days my diet consisted of rock tripe, a little bit of edible moss, and spruce tea. The spruce tea was the high point flavor wise. It's also one of the few good sources of vitamin C in the winter time.
The rock tripe was collected from the rocks, cleaned, and double boiled. The first batch of water was poured off as rock tripe contains acids that help them eat rock. (sounds more appetizing all the time, doesn't it?)
Actually if it was finely chopped and added to a hearty soup you wouldn't mind the flavor at all. All by itself for days at a time it gets pretty boring. However, not nearly as boring as starving to death.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.