The edible map of migrations.
A political atlas of the migration of wild alien species takes form in an experimental menu of ingredients and dishes and presents paths of migration, mechanisms of dispersal, impacts on nature and economy as well as media narrations. The results drift through peripheral spaces, wastelands, and abandoned "invisible" sites in search of surprising, underestimated species which are usually unnoticed, forgotten, or rarely used natural food resources and often regarded as toxic, corrupt, destructive, valueless, and troublesome.
The healing, talented, and undemanding survivalist. A multitasking species, crucial and irreplaceable for the time of the apocalypse
TOPINAMBOUR, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE
Consuming this undervalued species makes us more aware of complicated and multidimensional environmental phenomena; it allows us to imagine and understand complex, vulnerable and uncertain relationships between species.
Weeds can challenge us to think carefully about the way plants, animals and people coexist. Topinambour is an antidote to simplified divisions: "good" native vs. "bad" newcomer (and therefore alien, unnatural, and harmful); it helps calm anxieties about migrating species and foreign invasion, defined as "alien" and "out of place" -- about species considered threatening, disruptive, or chaotic. It is an antidote to the fear of diversity, migration and the unknown. It has the potential to become one of the key species in times of apocalypse as it combines the features of potato, artichoke, goldenrod, energy willow and probably a hundred other plants. After the exhaustion of fossil fuels it will be irreplaceable. It heals. It serves as an alternative food source in times of famine. It teaches us how to deal with invisible, undervalued food resources in times of crisis.
The destructive spread of unfulfilled hopes
BLACK CHERRY, WILD BLACK CHERRY, RUM CHERRY
Wild black cherry, while consumed, is believed to share the element of anarchy, resistance, and revolt as its subversive potential and its strength. It has the ability to survive in new, extreme, unpredictable circumstances and conditions. Rum cherry, as a weed, is a revolting and anarchic force, and an underestimated subversive agent. It has the ability to move freely, unnoticed into new places, and as such creates a powerful disruption. By participating in the daily ritual of consuming the destructive spread of unfulfilled hopes, you celebrate feral qualities, revolt and connection to nature.
The subversive agent or the vine that ate the world
The invasion of kudzu is facilitated by the ease with which even the smallest fragments of the shoots are rooted. The advantages are an indifference to climate, soil chemistry and light intensity on the site. A strong feature of kudzu is the ability to absorb free nitrogen from the atmosphere, typical for its family (Leguminosae aka Fabaceae), but rarely found in other species. It grows on sterilized substrates and poor soils. Over time kudzu fertilizes its habitat so strongly that competitors suffer from “overeating”. The same trick allows Black Locust Robinia pseudoacacia to create her own forests in Europe, and Fire Wax-myrtle/Fire Bayberry Myrica faya to displace native trees in Hawaii. Kudzu has permanently grown into the landscape of the American South and is sometimes called “the vine that ate the South ''.
Recipe for a dish to gain revolutionary power in times of crisis
TOPINAMBOUR, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE (Helianthus tuberosus )
BLACK CHERRY, WILD BLACK CHERRY, RUM CHERRY (Prunus serotina)
KUDZU (Pueraria montana)
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Wash the Jerusalem artichokes and cut into quarters.
Place them skin-side down on a baking tray sprayed with oil.
Season with pepper, salt and olive oil.
Roast the Jerusalem artichoke for 30 minutes.
To make chips from topinambour, cut its root into strips and put them on the pan with heated oil. Fry until they are crispy.
Combine the roasted Jerusalem artichoke root with chips.
Note: You can also ferment Jerusalem artichoke with horseradish leaves, dill stalks, oak, cherry leaves and garlic. Try this recipe with a slice of fermented topinambour on top.
The American cherry is considered inedible, but only its seeds can be harmful to health. They must be removed, which is not difficult. Black cherry is mainly used for preserves. To make puree or mousse, pour a little water over the cherries and boil for a few minutes. Then mash them to get rid of the seeds. Add sugar and cook for another hour. Put the hot jam into jars, screw on the lid and leave the jars upside down to cool.
Combine topinambour with black cherry mousse.
To enhance the effect of the dish, sprinkle it with powdered root of invasive alien species KUDZU/ Pueraria montana/ The subversive agent or the vine that ate the world
Recipe: Joanna Gawrońska – Kula
Read this piece in print in the issue 16 "Food Eats the Soul", out now!