Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Tasty Wild Edible Next Door. And Everywhere else in DC.

I'm reading the First Ways blog when I come across this post: Wild Garlic Mustard: A Rare & Tasty Treat! The photo in the post looks awfully familiar:

I knew I'd seen that plant before, but where?! Then it hit me. My own yard. At least I think I saw it last year. I went outside and looked on the side of the house, and Bingo! there it was:

Turns out, I've got Garlic Mustard growing right next to my house. This isn't a huge shock, as it's considered an invasive weed, but still, I never get any of the good weeds in my yard. That is, weeds that you can eat or otherwise put to use.

Yesterday's run along the Potomac Heritage Trail revealed that Garlic Mustard is everywhere, and in huge supply. It seemed like every corner I passed had another large stand of it.

Because the plant was so available, and it's considered invasive, I had no qualms harvesting a whole bunch of it. After double checking to make sure the plant was the plant I thought it was (thanks Rabbi Josh! Thanks Wild Edibles App!), I actually gave it a try.

So how does Garlic Mustard taste? Not bad. Not bad at all. The leaves do have a spicy aftertaste to them, and the stems were actually a bit sweet. I didn't eat a whole lot of it (yet), so I can't really offer up much of a taste profile. Invasivore has a great pictorial breakdown as to how Garlic Mustard is supposed to taste:

I can't believe this common, edible plant has been under my nose the whole time. Amazing.


  1. I intend to hunt it down today!

  2. Cool - let me know if you have any luck and how it tastes if you try it.