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In Pursuit of Wild Edibles

A Forager's Tour
Jeffrey Greene

BUY Cloth · 200 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813938578 · $24.95 · Mar 2016
BUY Ebook · 200 pp. · ISBN 9780813938585 · $16.95 · Mar 2016
BUY Paper · 200 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813941004 · $16.95 · Sep 2017

Today we care about the source of our food as much as the preparation, so it is no surprise that foodies have discovered wild edibles. From the most upscale restaurants in New York to humble farm stays in Europe, chefs and restaurant-goers alike are seeking pleasure in food found in the wild.

In Pursuit of Wild Edibles: A Forager’s Tour tells the story of one man passionate about finding wild edibles and creating recipes to highlight their unique flavors. An American expatriate, poet, and gourmet living in France, Jeffrey Greene has scoured the fields, rivers, and beaches of Europe and his native New England in search of foods ranging from puffballs and periwinkles to stone pine nuts and gooseneck barnacles. For many, foraging is the latest trend in foodie culture, but for Greene this journey stretches back to his childhood, when his parents fled New York City to a shack-like house in rural Connecticut. Convinced they could live off the land, the family raised goats, planted gardens, gathered seafood at the nearby coast, and foraged for food from the woods.

Inspired by these childhood experiences, Greene and his wife, Mary, bought and restored an old priory in rural Burgundy. Surrounded by forests, they learned to identify mushrooms and greens, and devoted themselves to inventing recipes for them. Thus began a pursuit that took Greene to the Polish Carpathians, the Appennines overlooking the Ligurian coast, the shores of Normandy and Brittany, and to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where the Pilgrims eked out their first winter in near starvation.

Greene’s captivating book offers experienced foragers and novices alike an extensive sampling of his own recipes and a chance to come along with him on his international adventures. From razor clams and wild sea urchins, to young nettles and dandelion greens, to wild strawberries and cherries, Greene showcases the beauty of what one can cook up in a truly wild recipe.


Jeffrey Greene is a wise and generous writer, navigating each wild edible through his own memories. What results is much more than a field guide; it’s a window into our relationship with the natural world.

Dan Barber, chef/coowner, Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns

In Greene we have an author who not only understands what snail slime consists of, but who writes in a way that compels us to take genuine interest in a topic we would not have thought to engage. This is the material that connects what’s on our plate to the world from which it emerges. Understanding the physiology and evolutionary biology of an animal we intend to eat deepens and enriches our intellectual as well as our culinary experience of it. Forget farm to plate. This is a book about wild places to plate, imagination to plate, memory to plate.

Michael P. Branch, author of Raising Wild: Becoming a Father in the High Desert

Jeffrey Greene is on a quest to see value where the rest of the world sees weeds..... More than a guidebook, or a colorful narrative, his book is a meditation, with elegant musings.... You leave Mr. Greene’s book wanting to find joy in fewer, more tangible things.... As you make your way through his ‘meditation’ you realize this sentiment is not just an aspiration for life, but as Thoreau pointed out, an inevitability for all living things.

Wall Street Journal

About the Author(s): 

Jeffrey Greene is the author of French Spirits: A House, a Village, and a Love Affair with Burgundy and The Golden-Bristled Boar: Last Ferocious Beast of the Forest (Virginia). A widely published poet, he is the recipient of the Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize and the Randall Jarrell Award in Poetry. He teaches at the American University of Paris.

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