Foraged Foods: Wisteria Kombucha?

I told you about the wisteria pancakes last week, and that I was going to try making either a concentrated wisteria syrup or wisteria vinegar…

Well, the wisteria vinegar idea inspired me to try wisteria kombucha. If you let kombucha ferment too long, it turns pretty vinegar-y, so I thought it would combine with wisteria similarly.

I mixed one panicle of wisteria petals into about 8 oz. of kombucha and let the bottle sit on the counter.

I tried it after two days, and I can only describe the taste as “uniquely wisteria.” It had kind of a tart/sweet artificial raspberry flavor – nothing like eating the petals plain or in pancakes. Very interesting. I don’t know if I liked it enough to keep making it, but it was fun to try. If I decide to go into the kombucha business, unique flavors like this will be in my repertoire.

The Fruit Trees of Stanford

Did you know that prior to becoming “Silicon Valley” the Bay Area used to be called “The Valley of Heart’s Delight?” Apparently, it got this name because of all of the fruit orchards in the area. In the 1930s, San Jose, which is just south of Palo Alto, was the world’s largest cannery and dried fruit packing center. El Camino Real (a major highway through Palo Alto that connects San Diego with San Francisco) used to a a dirt road line with orchard trees between Palo Alto and San Jose.

Although there aren’t many orchards left in the immediate area, fruit trees are not infrequently seen. The plum and peach season seems to have just ended, and we’re starting to get into pears and apples. Fall is coming! But some citrus (like lemons) are also ripe, which confuses me.

There’s a map of Stanford’s campus that identifies all of the fruit trees in the area. When Nate visited me, we tried to find as many as we could.

At firs we weren’t having much luck…the campus was pretty, but the first few fruit trees we tried to find weren’t where the map said they would be.

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