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Discussion in 'Recipe Share' started by skip, Jun 1, 2009.
Anyone else here eat Poke (or Polk) salad? Great with cornbread!
Nope. What is it? "Poke" salad sounds like the kind you could get in prison!
No really... What is it? ;-)
I think that's a southwest kind of thing... pokeweed is extremely toxic, with 3 different toxins in it as I recall, part of the preparations involve several boilings & chilling baths in both vinegar & water solutions
I'm sure there's a wikicrapia entry somewhere about it
It was a staple for us in Missouri when I was a kid. The berries are definitely poisioness. The mature leaves are bitter. The only way to eat it is to pick the very young leaves when there are just a few of them on the plant. And if there's one plant there, there are plenty more.
I know Poke grows as far north as Michigan. I used to ride my motorcylce along an old abandon railroad bed. It grew like crazy there. I used to bring back garbage bags full of the stuff. I know it can make you sick if u dont prep it right. Seems like my great aunt just used to boil it rinse it really well and then cook it again. Mom used to mix it in scrabled eggs. I havent had it in a while but i liked it with the eggs.
What's the nutritional value? Is it a superfood like Kale or Greens?
Pokeweed - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Don't Eat Poke Salad
Don't Eat Poke Salad
Auburn, June 18, 2002---Pokeweed is probably the best known and most widely used wild vegetable in America and Europe. However, a food scientist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System says no part of this plant should be eaten by a person or animal.
"The roots, berries, seeds and mature stems and leaves of pokeweed are poisonous," says Extension Food Scientist Jean Weese. There are at least three different types of poison in this plant -- phytolaccatoxin, triterpene saponins, an alkaloid, phytolaccin, and histamines.
Pokeweed, a herbaceous perennial native to America, grows from Maine to Florida and Minnesota to Texas. Indians introduced the first colonists to pokeweed, and they took it back to Europe where it became a popular vegetable. It grows along roads and fencerows, in fields and in open woods.
Early American settlers also made a crimson dye from the berry juice. Indians often used the pokeweed concoctions for a variety of internal and external medicinal applications.
The berries, which ripen in fall, are also popular with migrating songbirds, especially robins, towhees, mockingbirds, mourning doves, catbirds and bluebirds. Sometimes the birds get drunk on overly ripe berries and fly into closed windows or sides of buildings.
For years, people have picked the young shoots and developing leaves (before they take on their reddish hue) off this plant and cooked them. The plant is still used by many people today, and the tender young shoots often appear in rural vegetable markets in the South.
Most people boil the shoots and leaves for 20-30 minutes, first in salt water and again in clean water, then eat the plant much like spinach.
"The boiling process removes some of the toxins but certainly not all of them," says Weese. I suggest that people avoid this plant no matter how many times your mother or grandmother may have prepared it in the past and no matter how good it tasted. Why would you want to eat something that we know is toxic when there are so many other non-toxic plants out there we can eat?"
I have had Doctors tell me not to eat meat, eggs, corn, peas, and potatoes. Did you know pepper contain carcinogens? Point is if you listen to everything a doctor says, we would eat very little.
heard AND seconded
1st and foremost, if you're not sure, don't eat it. Always cook poke before they eat it. Pick the leaves when they are young, and with no red in the stems. I like mine with a little vinegar.
Poke being dangerous to eat is one person's opinion. You never know she (Dr. Jean Weese), may have wrote her doctorate on the dangers of Poke. She is just one source. In the article it mentions "The boiling process removes some of the toxins but certainly not all of them,” She doesn't go on to say how much "toxins" are left. Someone told me that apple seeds had arsenic in them, i still eat apples, because it would take like a bushel of apples seeds to injure me. lol
Point being just because one person says it doesn't mean its true.
Also could 300 yrs of southern know how be wrong?
I am allergic to black pepper. If you are interested in knowing more, there are several sites on the 'net easily found via google-search.
Love poke sallet with eggs! Foraging for food is a great way to cut your grocery bill, if you know what you're looking for. Cattails, poke, wild muscadines, pears, fiddlehead ferns... the only thing missing is the shopping cart.
my grandparents all ate plenty of poke both in Michigan and Kentucky. It's just like anything else you eat, domestic or otherwise, if it's not properly picked and prepared it can cause problems.
You used to be able to buy it canned right along with the del monte corn and such.
I don't eat poke...yet!
I have eaten poke, no problems & I was 12 or 13 at the time.
We have all have heard of the Belladonna the deadly nightshade family(Solanum).
Tomatoes,Potato(white),Egg Plant, All peppers (hot & sweet) are in the Deadly Night shade family.
Children have gotten sick from drinking tomato leaf tea.
Polk is like any other green, you need to boil it , pour off the water and boil it again. Pour off the water the second time and recook it seasoning to your ouw taste.
BillM, you may be right & anyone who has not cooked poke before should do it your way.
I however, never heard of boiling in fresh water a second time until I read books on eating poison plants.
And Angier "Wild Edibles", he does not say to change the water.
Some garden friends in Texas, said that was a waste of flavor.
So there are more then one way to eat the pot herb.
We Southern drink Moonshine, that to can kill you.
In full discloser: I have 20 or so poke plants on the farm, but do not eat it(leave it for the deer), because collards are so easy to grow. I get 3-4 year out of each collard plant, so it is all but a perennial plant for me.
I've heard many different versions of how to cook poke and as many different people saying it is poison. I've eaten it all my life and have not suffered any ill effects. The process of changing the cook water IMO, likely originated from the strong distinctive taste it has, change the water and it's not as strong.
I've also heard that the older leaves are poison but again have never suffered any ill effects from eating it up until the first frost, old and new leaves included. The only rule I do follow is not to eat any part of the stem/stalk that is purple.
While I was growing up we always heard of people getting sick and dieing from eating poke but the funny thing is that no one has ever been able to produce even one first hand case of "Poke Poisoning".
Bottom line, if you like it - eat it, if you dont - leve it alone and if you have never eaten it before(and want to try it), start with the new tender spring leaves and go from there.
Boil + rinse 3 times, last time with salt and a bit of onion, roll in egg yolk and corn flour and fry in bacon grease.
Screw that doctor, I'll bet he starves to death post SHTF.