Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wild Food Adventures: Cattail Pollen!

Well, here are some pics of some cattail pollen that we harvested. I see that i failed to get a pic of Rico actually harvesting it, but this is how you do it: you cut a hole in the side of a milk/juice jug in the middle. (It has to be the middle, not the top, otherwise there will not be enough room for the spike. You'll see when you try.) Go out in the shmuck and muck (muckle-a-do, we call it) when the cattail spikes are full of yellow pollen. Gently bend the spike (w/o breaking it) and put it into the milk jug and shake. The jug will collect most of the pollen. Rico turned yeller, and we were surprised how much pollen we actually came home with after so much flew away!

Once we got it home, we sifted it thru a sieve to get the fluff out. We sifted it several times. Watch out cause little bugs will try to get into it. We put it in a jar and keep it in the fridge. This way it's fresh. Some people let it dry out and then store it in a jar in the cupboard "indefinitely" but the gnats were after it so we wanted to put it away right away.

Cattail pollen has a delicious flavour. It is hearty and reminds me of fried okra. We added a little to some flour to make biscuits. YUM! A little goes a long way. The biscuits went really well with bacon & black-eyed peas. Well, of course biscuits always do, but you'll believe me once you try it. I also added some to a crust for a quiche. I cannot tell you enough how delicious that was! It really added to the flavour of the quiche.( I am spelling flavour this way because it comes out right on spell check! ha!) It seems to go really well with savoury things so far, but we like to also add it to oatmeal. It seems to bring out the flavour.

Fynn one day said that Cattail was his favourite food. (He has a lot of favourites; they change every day) This was after we had eaten some young cattail stalks for a snack, before we had ever tried the pollen. When Rico asked Fynn if he wanted cattail in his oatmeal, he said "wwwwESSSS!" ( Translation: "yyyyESSSS!)


  1. You have beautiful images! I am a curator for a Native American community in Minnesota and I am wondering if I could have permission to use some of your images in an exhibit about traditional foods. Thanks!

    1. Use whatever you'd like- where's your exhibit going to be at?