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12 responses to “Arrowhead or Wapato Pasta”

  1. Katie Moroney

    I love everything about this! Rendered duck fat And Demi Glace! Pasta experiments with foraged foods. Kinda jealous…

  2. Kevin

    There are several common species of Sagittaria here in the Southeast that I see quite often but hardly ever in massive stands. This post got me to thinking about other aquatic, tuberous plants. Hank, have you ever foraged for Nelumbo (Lotus) tubers? I can’t say that I haven’t thought about it but there’s usually a gator or two sunning next to them. What about the non-native wild taro/coco yam/elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta), does it have an edible tuber like the cultivated taro? I have seen large stands of it at man-made reservoirs.

  3. OregonCoastGardener

    Pretty sure we have these growing practically in our backyard… our neighborhood borders the extensive wetlands of Devils Lake near Lincoln City OR. Not only does it stay wet enough year-round– there are coho crossing our main road right now while it’s flooding! Typical January storm on the Oregon coast.

    Can’t wait to go hunting arrowhead when it’s in season and try your pasta recipe.

  4. Katie

    It’s true, you know–find a shallow, sheltered bit of lakeshore and you’ll find them, all over Wisconsin. I haven’t been to many MN lakes, but I would imagine they’d be here too. I’ve heard that they’re edible, but thanks for the recipe. Any excuse to go boating is a good one!

  5. mike

    the 2 books of Sams……if I can only buy 1, which one?

  6. Jeff @

    This recipe looks very delicious! I have to try this.

  7. Mojourner

    Thanks for this post. I grew up near Tuckahoe Swamp in Virginia, named for this plant or a relative, and no live within easy reach of the Columbia River, where it’s called wapato, and was harvested in such huge quantities that it was traded regionally. Tribes once tended large gardens of this plant; not what westerners call agriculture, but maintaining the right kind of conditions and harvesting predictably year after year.

    Sauvie Island near Portland was a huge wapato garden; there are accounts of women going out in the very cold water, filling up canoes with wapato. I suspect that as with many native species that were tended, once the people stop weeding, harvesting, and so on, the patches revert to a more diverse wild plant community. As an archaeologist, I look for concentrations of this and other food plants as clues for where sites may be, and possibly as traces of past “gardening.”

  8. Cottagemuse

    Wow you’re brave to try new things. Good for you!

  9. Mike Wascher

    I grew up in NorthEast Ohio. Arrowroot was common, but not in swamps. I found it most often in shallow streams. The stream that fronted my parents’ house had a wide, shallow & slow-moving stretch. Called Mud Run for the rich bottom of “muck”: fine soil, very high in organic content. For a mile or so downstream it was covered with the distinctive arrow-shaped leaves.

    I never tried to harvest the roots, though. Storm sewers carried run-off from a large area of the city into the stream with the contaminants that can be washed off of a road. The arrowroot, also the crayfish, frogs & ribbon snakes that thrived among the shoots, seemed to cope with occasional muddy, rushing water several feet deep. The plant might loose part or all of the green tops, but within a few weeks it was back.

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