At the recommendation of friends, I recently picked up Hunt, Gather, Cook by Hank Shaw. In 2011 they had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Shaw, during his book tour, over an intimate feast comprised of foods foraged by the author himself and prepared and served at Cleveland’s legendary fire food and drink. Their experience was a life highlight, and they will be sharing a bit about that, and their excitement and reverence for wild game, in a guest post in the near future.
Hunt, Gather, Cook is a marriage of anecdotes and information, and it reads quickly for one who is interested in the topics presented. Hank’s conversational style serves to enhance one of his central points – that the activity of foraging is accessible to everyone and only as easy or challenging as the foragers themselves would like to make it.
The book is arranged in three sections with about 100 pages devoted each to foraging, fishing and hunting. I only currently engage in the first of the three activities. However, I have an appreciation and fascination with all forms of wild food procurement, so I didn’t find the final two-thirds of the book tedious or dull.
Like my earlier review of Foraged Flavor by Tama Matsuoka Wong, this book offers recipes that put foraged treasures to best use. I find this feature indispensable for someone who is getting started. This book, however, is not a field guide. Hank’s description of plants makes them easy for someone with some foraging experience to visualize, but it is used best a reference before heading out to forage.
With few images, all of which are black and white, this book is great inspiration to grab a more thorough guide and get out of the house to start finding your own food.
In fact, I think I’ll do just that.