Serendipitous Discoveries: 40+ Times Fortune Favored ForagersBy Jishnu B
Nowadays, having access to food is not that difficult for those fortunate enough to afford it. There was a time when people only ate what they grew or hunted. The global industrial growth normalized mass-produced food at affordable prices. Instead of going out into the wilderness and hunting, we simply go to a supermarket and buy whatever we need. Whether it’s fresh produce or processed items, we now have easy access to most of our culinary needs.
However, some people shun convenience and prefer to forage for their food. Humans are natural hunters and gatherers. Those who like to forage in the wild often say that they are satisfying a primal instinct. Hence, they prefer to follow the ways of our ancestors. In this listicle, we accumulated 45 of the most amazing foraged finds. Who knows? You might get inspired to forage your own food, too.
Perhaps This Is What Disney Princesses Eat
Nettle soup is a polarising dish. We cannot help but think it tastes a bit like a lawn mower. However, we will happily eat anything prepared by this person. This beautifully garnished soup reminds us of a valley of wildflowers.
This person foraged fresh nettle leaves and wild garlic—the main ingredients of this masterpiece. They also decorated the plate with beautiful spring blossoms. Based on the plating alone, we think that this person should be hired by a Michelin-star restaurant.
A Giant King Bolete Mushroom
How much room did this fungi need to grow? — As mush-room as possible! Please don’t leave. We apologize for that awful joke. Look at this happy man. He looks like a fun guy (this is the last time. Maybe). Jokes aside, this mushroom is quite the find.
Generally, bolete mushrooms are only a little bigger than regular white button mushrooms. They are known for their meaty mouthfeel and earthy taste. For one to grow this big is quite impressive. It’s the size of a bull’s head. We can understand why this man is so happy.
Apologies for the awful pun, but this beautiful spread of berries clouded our senses. This person has clearly won the real estate lottery. We don’t care if the grocery store or Mcdonald’s is a hundred miles away; we would happily move to this neighborhood.
The poster found this beautiful harvest from the grove around their home. They collected vibrant salmon berries, wine berries, osoberries, and red huckleberries. Just imagine making pies, tarts, and jams with this bounty. We are burning with envy just thinking about it.
Pie Of The Forest Fairies
We prayed for pie, and this person generously delivered it. Cakes are cute., however, we think pies are just heavenly. There is something divine about baking fresh fruits in buttery, flaky pastries. This pie, in particular, was probably made by a forest fairy.
We don’t know which wilderness this poster ventured into. However, they somehow foraged a bunch of wild blackberries, lavenders, and chocolate mints. With that, they made the most Instagram-worthy galette in the world. We didn’t even know chocolate mints existed. Now we’re wondering where we can get a plant.
Fit For A For A Dionysian Feast
Do you remember Aesop’s fable about the fox and the grapes? Imagine what would happen to that fox had he seen these perfectly humongous grapes. We did not know nature could produce something so perfectly round. We could replace pearls with these.
This photo was taken from the Redditor’s grandfather’s backyard. They claimed the high summer heat is responsible for making such picturesque fruit. However, we suspect the grandfather is the wine god Dionysus in disguise. Who else could grow such marvelous fruit? These Bacchanalian grapes must be as sweet as honey.
Came For The Black Truffles. Stayed For The Pupper
At this point, we all know about the overpriced majesty of truffles. A pound of good Winter Black Truffle can easily cost around $350. It is hard to believe; however, there was a time when these truffles were fed to pigs.
Truffle foraging can be very profitable. Truffle hunters pay thousands for a good sensitive-nosed dog. This person won the lottery. A furry companion in itself is a blessing; if they know how to earn money, it is double the blessing.
Sometimes You Become God’s Favorite
Truffles, caviar, and edible gold are the most overhyped food in recent years. That being said, we must also admit that we’ve never actually tasted these delicacies. Our wallets cannot handle such luxury. Perhaps we are the salty fox from the fables, and truffles are the grapes we can’t reach.
This person clearly did something noble, like stopping a plague in their past life. We don’t know why they are being rewarded like this. They were casually taking a stroll and found a white truffle on the ground. Just so you know, white truffles are five times more expensive than black truffles.
Mushrooms Are Better Than Meat
Yes, you read it right. We don’t care if we start a war; the truth needs to be revealed. Mushrooms are way better than chicken with the right preparation. It’s a tragedy that more people do not acknowledge their beauty.
Mushrooms are the meat alternative for vegans and vegetarians. This particular orange variety, known as the “chicken of the woods,” is the best substitute for chicken and turkey meat. It tastes and shreds just like poultry. This person hit the jackpot. You can tell how happy he is.
Chicken Of The Woods
There will be many more appearances of mushrooms in this listicle. It’s not only because of our personal obsession with these funny fungi; but also because mushrooms are very popular finds during foraging trips. The joy of finding an edible and delicious cluster of mushrooms in the wild is incomparable.
With that being said, this man is probably drowning in joy. We would have wept had we found such a massive cluster of “chicken of the woods.” It’s enough to feed a village. Personally, we would take all of these and disappear. We would only reemerge after we are done munching.
Popeyes Is Over
They don’t call it the chicken of the woods for nothing. It really can serve as a chicken substitute. That’s exactly what this Redditor did. They battered and fried the mushroom as if it was a chicken thigh. They even made a ‘chicken’ sandwich out of it.
Sadly, fast food chains cannot make this an option. That’s because this type of mushroom is very hard to cultivate commercially. The ones that we find in the farmer’s market are picked from the wild. The problem is a pound of it will cost around $25.
We Lilac These A Lot
Foraging brings out the best in people. Not only does it teach people survival skills in a practical way, but it also gives people the opportunity to be creative with their finds. For example, this person foraged some fresh lilac and came up with this brilliant idea.
These pretty cubes of crystals are actually ice cubes. This Redditor intends to use these ice cubes in drinks during the summer heat. We can already picture the purple flowers clinking around in a cool drink. It would look like something out of Country Living.
Noble Fir Pine Cone
Even if you are not a fan of fruit, anyone with an eye for beauty can admire how stunning this fruit is. The prickly outside may scare you away at first, but the inside looks like it is stuffed with rose petals.
The Redditor posted this on a foraging Reddit page. They claimed it was an edible pine cone grown in Denmark. It supposedly has a tender texture and sweet taste. However, people in the comments vehemently denied it as a pine cone. Whatever it is, we would love to try it.
Dragon Fruit From Hawaii
While a lot of the world has been enjoying this delicious fruit for many years, the West is rather new to the beauty of dragon fruit. You know what happens when something becomes popular in the global West—the price increases exponentially. Now, this fruit is popularly featured in smoothies and buddha bowls.
This lucky fellow came across a dragon fruit in Hawaii. He hit the double lottery. First of all, dragon fruit is quite expensive, so finding one in the wild is quite miraculous. Secondly, it’s grown in Hawaii, which automatically means it will be very delicious.
Home Of Fairies
By now, you must already know that we have an obsession with mushrooms. You should also know that we are also fond of nature. We love everything about it—from its beauty to its cruelty. While humanity has advanced a lot, there are certain things that nature does better.
This is a prime example of that. Things like these make you wonder how nature could create something so perfect. When we imagine the home of an elf or a forest fairy, this structure comes to mind. Perhaps a smurf could also live here peacefully.
Black Berries And Black Cats
Here are two of our favorite things in one picture. Blackberries are one of the few fruits that we could easily devour a few hundred of in one sitting. Cats are such wonderful creatures. Just look at those sweet eyes!
This person went to forage fresh wild blackberries. During that, they encountered this majestic forest deity in the form of a black cat. If we had been there, we would have taken the cat home as well. Now that’s what we call a two-for-one special.
Pile Of Asparagus
Talk about hitting the jackpot. When we got out in the wilderness, all we find is dirt, rocks, and dead leaves. This person, however, is also one of God’s favorites. They took a tour of the forest and casually found a bunch of wild asparagus.
Asparagus is rather complicated to cultivate. The plant needs at least two years before you can have your first harvest. A good batch of asparagus can easily cost around $35. This person was very lucky. Not only did they forage a tower worth of the veggie, but they also found the tastier wild variety.
The Prettiest Flowers Are The Ones You Can Eat
Roses are overrated. If we ever get married, we will take this floret of mushroom as our bouquet. We will obviously skip the bouquet-throwing session. Who in their right mind would let anyone take away this tasty mushroom. We’re gonna eat it during the honeymoon.
We envy this man. Just look at his face; he looks so happy. If we took this beauty home, we, too, would probably grow two dimples from all the grinning. Perhaps it is time to put those walking shoes on and head into the woods.
Every day you learn something new. We recently discovered the beautiful wonder that is salmonberry. Now we are wondering where we can find them. These berries are comparatively unknown and rare since they can only be cultivated in certain weather zones.
It is common for people to forage these berries. This person, however, got extra lucky. Their berries are massive and robust looking. At first glance, they almost seem like one of those fake fruit decorations made with colored beads. We bet these will sell well at the farmer’s market.
Cat And Fungi
Would you look at that? We are back again with our obsession with mushrooms. This time it’s far better since we have the prettiest tabby cat accompanying us. This Reddit user took this picture of two of our favorite things. For that, we cannot thank them enough.
Aside from the picturesque autumn background, this gives us an idea of how big and strong wild fungi can grow. One single cluster is effortlessly carrying the full weight of an adult cat. You can also tell it’s quite massive. If you encounter bigfoot in the wild, throw this mushroom at its head.
Salt is an essential part of our diet. Any dish is incomplete without a sprinkle of it. The USA alone consumes 54 million metric tons of salt every year. We all know this vital ingredient is collected from the ocean. However, did you know you could make it home?
This person gathered 10 gallons of seawater from Maine and boiled it down to salt. From that, they gained two full jars of sodium. However, consuming this salt is not recommended. Water from the shore is dirty, and so is the salt produced from it. Just use commercially produced salt.
There is no doubt that elderflowers are gorgeous. However, they do not just look and smell amazing. Elderflowers are also edible and are used in cuisines in various parts of the world. For example, this Hungarian lady intends to make syrup out of these flowers.
The uses for this plant are endless. The blossoms make a pretty garnish. Due to their health benefits, elderflowers are also used in various medicines. Additionally, elderflower tea is quite popular, and many make wine out of them. You can also use them for savory preparations. That’s one diverse flower.
Researching this listicle was fun, yet discoveries like these make it painful. How come we are only hearing of cloudberries now? Just look at this beautiful fruit. They look like orange gems in the sunlight. These berries are apparently very popular in the north.
They can only grow in the wild. They need very acidic soil; hence they are hard to grow. They can be eaten fresh, but some people like to make jam out of them. When the plants are found in the wild, foragers refuse to disclose their location. Every man for himself.
A Truckload Of Blueberry
The fire of envy is eating us from the inside out. The most we have ever foraged is perhaps half a jar of berries. As delicious as those berries were, they were nothing in comparison to the mountain that this person foraged. This person has outdone us.
They managed to find a source that blessed them with tons of fresh berries. They cleverly only posted the photos while gatekeeping the source location. We don’t blame them, either. These berries must have been a hassle to pick. However, it was worth the effort.
Foraging takes us back to our roots. Not only does it allow us to hunt and gather from nature like our ancestors did thousands of years ago, but we also find ways to utilize our finds in a creative manner.
This woman made these beautiful baskets out of dried-up willow branches. When the plant began flowering again, she took the newly forged basket there to take some photos. We must praise her for her craftsmanship. These baskets will come in handy next time she goes foraging.
Photos like these make us wish we could build a barn in the countryside and reside there for the rest of our lives. City life is cool. However, it can never compare to the beauty of nature. Mother nature will show you things that concrete walls never will.
We now dream of frolicking in a beautiful valley of blueberries on a sunny afternoon. Mass-produced blueberries are lovely; however, the wild variety is far better. It is smaller in size and has thicker skin. In our opinion, wild berries are way tastier.
Keeping track of sources is a crucial part of foraging. Wherever you find something in the wilderness, chances are the same crop will blossom again a while later. That is why foragers often have their favorite location, which they gatekeep. They go back to collect their foraged finds every year.
This Redditor was not so lucky. Capitalism had caught up to nature, and she had to suffer the brunt of it. Her favorite wild raspberry site was scheduled for demolition by a real estate company. Thus, she quickly gathered the plants in order to replant them on her property.
The Best PB&J
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a classic. It is so simple, yet so filling. This one sandwich carries many of our fond childhood memories. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, this person came in and presented their PB&J made with foraged ingredients.
This sandwich doesn’t have your typical supermarket creamy peanut butter or processed fruit jam. Instead, artificial ingredients are replaced with naturally foraged ingredients. The fat portion of the sando has walnut butter, and the fruit portion has black raspberry jam. Yum!
Ramp Leaf Sourdough Bread
Baking is a labor of love. Getting the measurements and temperature right can be pretty tricky. Also, kneading dough is exhausting. That is why we often opt for supermarket or bakery bread. However, those who have made fresh home-baked bread know how tasty it can be.
This person had the genius idea to mix ramp leaves into the sourdough bread dough. We are already salivating from imagining the sourness of the bread mixed with the oniony taste of the leaves. This bread deserves to be on fine china like the one in this pic.
Acorn flour bread
This is another display of exquisite baked goods made with foraged products. Those who know how to bake bread are very talented. However, knowing how to bake with uncommon ingredients is even more impressive. This particular bread looks like chocolate; however, it’s actually acorn flour.
We didn’t even know acorns could be ground into flour. Apparently, the Greeks and Romans used this ingredient in ancient times. This bread recipe was combined with cattail starch. According to the Redditor, the bread had a satisfying crust. It’s also gluten-free.
The True Foraging Experience
This listicle invoked a lot of jealousy in us. Just look at this person. This person is living their best life. Foraging is all about adventure and exploring nature in its truest form. This person is doing things right. He is eating his catch of the day right where he caught it.
This lucky fellow went to the mountains during the summer vacation. During his trip, he foraged wild blueberries and butter bolete mushrooms. He also caught three massive fish. His spread of foraged items is truly envy-worthy. The fact that he is enjoying them in such a scenic place is the icing on the cake.
Honeysuckle Ice Cream
The addition of honeysuckle to any dessert creates a sublime experience. It’s been used in various cuisines for hundreds of years. Those who have tried eating these flowers know how pleasant they are. They have a sweet smell and an even sweeter taste.
This person added these honeysuckle flowers to their ice cream. They claimed the desert was so good it pushed them to the point of tears. We have no doubt it was divine. We can already imagine the magnificent feeling of the ice cream melting on our tongues and the floral scent ambushing our senses.
Pinecones are a rather popular ingredient in the culinary world. Not only do they produce highly coveted and expensive pine nuts, but their younger fruits are also used in various sweet preparations. Pinecone jam is quite popular in Europe. They can also be candied or fermented.
This person had the genius idea of infusing the flavors of a pinecone in a soda. Now that we think about it, it makes a lot of sense. We have soda versions of many sweet fruits. The sweet, buttery taste and smell of a pinecone pair well in a fizzy drink.
Did you really think we forgot our one true love — the mushroom? No, no, no, we will never forget the beauty and grace of these tasty fungi. In order to not forget, this person immortalized the beauty of mushrooms by making a pendant out of them.
We would like to find this person in real life and pay them to make another one for us. It’s only fitting for mushroom-obsessed individuals like ourselves to wear the said fungi around our necks. Jokes aside, we must praise this person for their craftsmanship.
Even Turtles Love Them
A lot of living creatures have the instinct to hunt and gather. This turtle is no different. This fellow is also a foraging aficionado. He is also a specimen of fine taste. See how he is ignoring the broccoli and eating the fungi instead?
However, we still recommend that this turtle eat his broccoli as well. He needs green veggies to help keep his beautiful shell strong and vibrant. Jokes aside, turtles are herbivores. Hence they eat almost all veggies. We have no doubt they’ll finish the greens.
Whatchu Doing Up There, Buddy?
Do you know how the houses from Game of Thrones have sigils? For example, House Targaryen has a red three-headed dragon. House Stark adorns the gray dire wolf sigil. Meanwhile, House Tyrell has a golden rose sigil. If we had to choose one for ourselves, we’d go for this mushroom in a tree hole.
This little fella found the penthouse of the woods. While his friends are basking in the sunlight on the ground, this white mushroom keeps observing them from his high spot. It makes sense for mushrooms to grow in tree holes. They thrive in damp, dark places.
Foraging For Luck
Foraging is no doubt a job suited for skilled people. One must know how to navigate in order to forage safely. They should also understand what conditions can grow a certain crop. While all of these skills are necessary, just like everything else in life, you also need luck.
You may not know clover leaves are bearers of good luck. Typically, they have three leaves. However, if you find one with four or more leaves, you’ll most likely find good fortune. This person foraged abundant good luck. They even have some clovers with five leaves.
This situation is a prime example of how nature creates art that is unimaginable for humans. A forager found the skull of a dead deer with two huge orange fungi popping out of the eye sockets. This could easily be the album cover of a metal/rock band.
You might feel saddened after seeing the carcass of an animal in the wild. However, these kinds of scenarios are quite common in the wild. The food chain is circular, and everything will be reclaimed by mother nature again. We should look on the bright side and learn to appreciate the beauty of it.
Bleeding Tooth Fungus
This is why we adore fungi. The edible variants are always tasty. They have flavors that no other ingredient can replicate. Meanwhile, the inedible look otherworldly. They grow in mysterious circumstances and look very strange. Finding funny-looking mushrooms always makes a foraging trip enjoyable.
The bleeding tooth AKA Hydnellum Peckii is possibly the weirdest-looking fungus in the world. Those with trypophobia might be triggered by this. If you do not know about this fungus beforehand, you might get freaked out in the wild. Many mistake it for a dead animal.
It is such a simple-looking mushroom, yet we cannot look away from it. The cap looks like it collected all the morning dew from the air. The reflective surface captures the beauty of the wilderness. We doubt that this is an edible mushroom.
Something so pretty cannot be eaten. Nevertheless, we are to risk our lives to taste this stunning fungus. Jokes aside, please do not eat any unfamiliar mushrooms. Every year thousands of foragers get hospitalized due to toxic mushrooms. Just admire their beauty and keep walking.
Finding an edible and huge mushroom is the dream of every forager. A lot of luck comes into play while harvesting these. Mushrooms have a small lifespan. They blossom for a few days, and after that, they start decomposing really quickly. Even if you find an unrotten piece, chances are it is infected with bugs.
This harvester hit the jackpot. His gigantic bolete mushroom didn’t have a speck of bug. We are here for it! At first glance, we almost mistook it for a block of goat’s cheese. This person was quite lucky. Maybe he found a clover with five leaves before this.
When mother nature takes it upon herself to create a masterpiece, no one can stop her. These instances create beautiful things like this. Mother nature is most certainly an accomplished artist. She was probably influenced by other great artists like Monet.
Imagine going to the forest and finding this ensemble. We would quit exploring and stay still in front of this masterpiece. We would spend hours only soaking in the beauty of this. Remember what we said about GOT house sigils? This would be ours.
Spring Has Arrived
We don’t know why, but this photo makes us want to sing and frolic. There is no photo that can represent the beauty of spring like this one. Spring is considered to be the best time for foraging. All sorts of fruits and herbs grow in abundance during that time of the year.
This forager had quite the hunt. Their impressive spread contains things like various colorful wildflowers, wild spring onions, herbs, and last but not least —- the delicious morel mushrooms. We have no doubt this person will have a happy spring this year. They’ll certainly make a lot of profit from the farmer’s market.
Morel mushrooms are one of the most famous fungi in the culinary universe. Although their unique cap triggers trypophobia within many people, restaurants pay thousands of dollars for a freshly foraged batch of this fungus. It has a unique nutty flavor that cannot be replicated by any other mushroom.
It is one of the most expensive mushrooms in the world. A pound of it can cost up to $254. Foragers can get a little too excited and harvest everything. This is a problem as mushrooms need to spread their spores to reproduce.
Foraging is a very fun activity, there is no doubt about it. You get to connect with nature and find all sorts of delicious things in the wild. It’s like a treasure hunt for modern-day adults. What makes this activity more rewarding is when you make something tasty with your foraged items.
This person was lucky enough to find morel mushrooms in the woods. The person made scrumdelicious pasta with his foraged finds. These mushrooms pair excellently with soups and pasta. Thus, we have no doubt this was an excellent lunch. The only bad thing is our overwhelming envy.
Salt And Banana
As we saw earlier, salt is deceivingly easy to make at home. All you need is a pot of seawater and heat. Once the water dries out, you are left with salt. Many people who live by the seaside prefer to make their own salt.
However, consuming this salt is discouraged. The manufactured salt goes through a purification process. We at home cannot do that. You can use this method for a fun little science project, but use commercial salt to sprinkle on your banana. We won’t yuck your yum!