Catkins edible?

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mckenna

New Member
May 24, 2021
2
0
33
Derbyshire
Hello all. New to the forum here. Found plenty of useful info already and sure it's just the start.
So thought I'd ask a first question here if any body knows about the edibility of catkins? Not been able to find much info on this. From what I can tell, some of them like Birch, are edible, but quite bitter. I'd like to know about sycamore ones as there are low growing catkins on the trees nearby, lots of them, quite a decent size. It would be good to add a few to pasta or a salad if they are edible, and also know whether they have some nutritional value. Thanks. :)
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,785
2,692
S. Lanarkshire
Hello :) and welcome to the forum.

No idea about Sycamore catkins, I usually just eat the 'pea' from the winged seeds that fall.
Alder catkins are edible though, and a tasty munchy.
Are you eating the overWintering or the Spring grown Birch catkins ?
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,387
2,159
McBride, BC
May I suggest that you need a cast iron pan? For the past 400,000 years, humans have been roasting plant root tubers and things to make them more digestible. Can't be the first time they tried this.
Dry-fry/Stir-fry what you forage. Cook it a little, toast it in a pan. Maybe a little animal fat just to be truly authentic. Got some simple sea salt like Maldon?

As a note added in proof, peanuts* are thoroughly roasted. I have been roasting curried pecans, almonds walnuts and hazel nuts (filberts) for more than 40 years. As a rule, they all taste a hell of a lot better than raw.

* I can buy fresh green peanuts in the shell here. Boiled, they are a welcome treat. It takes forever for October to get here.
 
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Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,785
2,692
S. Lanarkshire
Yes. Like picking hazelnuts :) Out of season now though, but one of the tasty bites of the seasonal round.

Pignuts are up just now, and the lesser celandines have set their bulbs.
 

spandit

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 6, 2011
5,544
234
East Sussex, UK
Yes. Like picking hazelnuts :) Out of season now though, but one of the tasty bites of the seasonal round.

Pignuts are up just now, and the lesser celandines have set their bulbs.

I have many alder trees (because I planted several hundred and there are a few that have come up naturally as a result) but never knew the catkins were edible. I'll have to look out for them next year.

Despite several attempts, I've never managed to get pignuts to grow here and have never seen them in the wild. If it's their season now, I'll keep a better eye out along the hedgerows locally
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,785
2,692
S. Lanarkshire
Mine happily self seed in the gravel path. They do well in the damper areas around the slabs and brick edging. They're easy to grow in a pot though.
 

mckenna

New Member
May 24, 2021
2
0
33
Derbyshire
Thanks. Hi Toddy, I've not eaten catkins of any species yet. Wildfood's a new interest for me, so thought I would err on the side of caution.

Good to know about the Alder ones though :)

Thanks Joseph. The sycamore ones are edible?

I wonder why catkins don't get much mention in foraging books or on the net. Even if they don't have much taste I imagine they'd be good survival food.
 

Spirit fish

Banned
Aug 12, 2021
338
72
28
Doncaster
Hello all. New to the forum here. Found plenty of useful info already and sure it's just the start.
So thought I'd ask a first question here if any body knows about the edibility of catkins? Not been able to find much info on this. From what I can tell, some of them like Birch, are edible, but quite bitter. I'd like to know about sycamore ones as there are low growing catkins on the trees nearby, lots of them, quite a decent size. It would be good to add a few to pasta or a salad if they are edible, and also know whether they have some nutritional value. Thanks. :)
Lime trees have spherical pods with edible seeds inside
 

Spirit fish

Banned
Aug 12, 2021
338
72
28
Doncaster
May I suggest that you need a cast iron pan? For the past 400,000 years, humans have been roasting plant root tubers and things to make them more digestible. Can't be the first time they tried this.
Dry-fry/Stir-fry what you forage. Cook it a little, toast it in a pan. Maybe a little animal fat just to be truly authentic. Got some simple sea salt like Maldon?

As a note added in proof, peanuts* are thoroughly roasted. I have been roasting curried pecans, almonds walnuts and hazel nuts (filberts) for more than 40 years. As a rule, they all taste a hell of a lot better than raw.

* I can buy fresh green peanuts in the shell here. Boiled, they are a welcome treat. It takes forever for October to get here.
curried nuts that sounds actually really nice
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,387
2,159
McBride, BC
Curried Nuts. I'm sure that I have posted the recipe and the process some time here ago. I can afford American pecan halves ( the creases hold more curry powder & soya sauce than, say, almonds or hazel nuts.)
Otherwise, walnut halves work just about as well.
 
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