Most food-savvy Asheville residents know food doesn’t just come from the grocery store. It comes from local farms, markets and artisans who create it using sustainable methods.
But it can also be growing wild.
No Taste Like Home tours are designed to showcase just that – the prevalence of wild edibles that can be foraged year-round. Led by Alan Muskat and his team of experts, the tours are a great way to get to know the region. Curious locals and visitors can take a walk with them to pick and sample the bounty of Western North Carolina.
“Enter the team at No Taste Like Home, an eco-tourism company based in Asheville, North Carolina, that not only provides “wild food tours” to wannabe foragers, but also, in conjunction with local restaurants, allows them to actually eat and drink what they find. (The fact that the Southern city is home to some of the country’s most talented chefs makes the experience that much more awesome.)” –Patrick Carone, Maxim journalist. Read about his experience in the article “’Grass to Glass’: Why foraging for cocktail ingredients is a wild new drink trend.”
The Forage-to-Table program is a partnership with six Asheville restaurants, including Nightbell.
After the tour, guests bring their bounty to the restaurants. Chefs and mixologists prepare a dish or drink from the gathered ingredients. This is a fantastic way for diners to see how wild ingredients can be incorporated into a delicious and truly local meal.
Guests who attend the tours are often amazed at the flavors and textures wild foods add to the meal. Nightbell mixologists enhance cocktails with fresh aromatics like sassafras, birch and spice bush. Chefs integrate wild mushrooms and greens like chickweed and dandelion with pantry staples, creating palate-pleasing plates.
Even in winter, there are still wild edibles to find. The weather may seem bleak, but wild edibles flourish in Asheville. No Taste Like Home tours offer a delicious and informative introduction to the often unseen and untasted world growing all around us.