Gundelia (Akkoub)

May 22, 2012  • 

 

Pluck its thorny leaves and this is indeed akkoub, a prized (by many) wild vegetable; also known as tumbleweed, cardon (French), or gundelia. Apparently this wild vegetable’s recent claim to fame is that its grains were identified by researchers on the shroud of Turin. 

I got three recipes from local mountain folks; one way is to deep-fry them (coated in a batter), another is to cook them in lamb shanks like a stew, and the last one is  to marinate  and grill them.


These faintly taste like  artichoke. The mere mention of akkoub here elicits a lot of excitement. After all, it is a wild plant, it is not easy to forage (you have to climb steep mountains), and it requires a lot of effort (plucking all these spiny leaves out). 

Comments

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  1. Mark Wisecarver says:

    As always, very well done.
    I hope you don’t mind me posting this video of what some are going through to collect this. I’m posting it with tears, but also to share the very depth:

  2. Alice says:

    I tasted it today with a stew with lamb. My goodness, is it delicious! The taste actually kind of reminded me of cooked green beans. Yummy.

  3. Jamie says:

    See, I read a few of your posts at once and backwards so I learn something new each time… and answer my own questions. This is a very cool discovery. So like Cardoons with a slightly artichoke flavor. Cool!

  4. Alicia (Foodycat) says:

    I had no idea that cardoon was the same as tumbleweed!

  5. Nuts about food says:

    As you see, I am reading backwards… I just realized these are what we call “cardi” in italian. Yaay!

  6. domi says:

    Voyage vers l’inconnu…..culinaire

  7. Mark Grantham says:

    a dear friend of mine is of Palesrinian ancestry, his dad and step Mother came from Palestine. When I was living and working in Syria, my friends mom, um Mazen, told me that we were having a Palesrinian dinner, one of the components was Akkoub! I was in heaven, absolutely delicious! It reminded me of a cross between Asparagus and Artichokes. The effort that she put into removing the thorns was well worth it, everyone in attendance at this dinner had a smile and a full stomach!

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