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Cattail Flowers

One of the first things every forager learns is that Euell Gibbons described cattails as “the supermarket of the swamp.”

It’s true, cattails have multiple, very tasty edible parts. (And they often grow in water, if not actual swamps.) I call the cattail an edible superstar, and of all its tasty parts, the immature male cattail flowers are my favorite. They’re easy to harvest and very versatile. Try eating cattail flowers in a simple preparation first, to get a feel for their flavor. Read more

cattail flower breakfast

Cattail Flower Breakfast: Recipe

I can’t REALLY call this a soufflé, but it’s pouffy and light and egg-based, so I consider it a pseudo-psoufflé. Cattail flowers have a brief season, and for this recipe you’ll need to catch the male flowers before they open. Look for long, slim cylinders near the tips of the cattail leaves. Those are the young flowers, and they’re divided into two parts: male flowers on top, female flowers on the bottom. The male flowers, before they ripen and produce pollen, are a lovely, naturally sweet vegetable, with a flavor vaguely reminiscent of corn. This cattail flower breakfast recipe is a great way to enjoy a fleeting, seasonal flavor. Read more