- Kate Wolford
Kate's Pick: The Black Forager
Check out Kate's fabulous fairy tale finds that you can enjoy, too!
This week's pick: THE BLACK FORAGER
Here’s the first of what I hope will be many of “Kate’s Picks.” I was raised to shop and to consume with care and intuition (thanks Mom!), and I greatly enjoy sharing my finds. In fact, picking stories and poems and publishing them is a lot like shopping for an important meal. All of the ingredients must be chosen to work both individually and as a whole.
As for food, my first official pick is the “Black Forager,” a.k.a., Alexis Nikole. This 2022 James Beard Award winner for social media influence has TikTok, Instagram and Twitter accounts—and are they ever fun and informative.
Inspired by her African and indigenous roots, the Black Forager, using incredibly peppy and charmingly informative videos, teaches fans how to forage for edible foods wherever they find themselves. I’ve seen her forage, cook and eat something improbable in a one minute video. And I’ve laughed while watching her do it.
For instance, look up her “daylily pickles.” She teaches you how to find the “ditch lily” buds, and how to pickle them, and of course, eat them. As a pickle fiend, they look scrumptious to me. But there are other little videos on issues like the various zoning laws that might affect the forager. As NPR reports, “For those not familiar with the term, Nelson says foraging is essentially ‘a very fun way to say, I eat plants that do not belong to me and I teach other people how to do the same thing.’” Even with all the fun, the serious issues get addressed.
If you’re wondering what foraging has to do with a fairy tale site, I’ll tell you: Just how do you think all of those fairy tale protagonists sustain themselves over the long, long journeys they often have to take? Do you think they never forage for blackberries like my sisters and I did back in the ‘60s and ‘70s? Or scarfed up onion grass like my grandson does? Even Hansel and Gretel were able to find a few berries. “Foraging,” “folklore,” and “fairy tales” all start with “F” and that’s just one connection.
As for Black and indigenous Americans, of course they would have supplemented their regular diet with foraging. So did white people. Foraging is a thing humans do, period. All over the world. We always have and we always will, and it’s especially beautiful to see Alexis Nikole tapping into her own roots.
Nowadays, fancy restaurants take city people on foraging tours, and it’s a hot food trend. But I can’t imagine anyone delivering foraging lessons with more zeal and humor than Alexis Nikole. With her fabulous glasses, hair accessories and perfect lip color, she’s a bright spirit, delivering what you need to know with laughs, bouncy filming, and many closeups. There’s also a whole lot of wisdom and science and safety warnings delivered painlessly.
Indeed, the Black Forager’s frequent video signoff is perhaps the funniest, most folkloric thing she could say: “Happy snacking. Don’t die!”
I’ve linked a YouTube video on dandelions HERE, but the Black Forager is easiest to find on:
You can also find her on Twitter @blackforager
Join the millions of fans who already love the Black Forager. Some bandwagons are worth jumping on and this is one of them.
See you next week!