Gundelia (Akkoub)

May 22, 2012  •  Category:


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). 


9 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  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:

    • Ania says:

      It is a very interesting plant. We don’t have anything like that in Poland, however, we love picking up mushrooms in the forests in autumn and at the seaside there is one bush which has very tasty and healthy fruit “rokitnik” but is very difficult to collect.

  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!

  8. John LaRue says:

    l would try asap

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