Old noses of the mountain know the taste of skunk cabbage.
Lettuce-like leaves with the consistency of banana peel smell uncannily like the spray from half-cat, half-squirrel mammals– the skunk– but are good for eating.
Kicking skunkcabbage smells just as rotten as frightening the easy-going kittens that roam the hills of the Appalachians. There are some who have eaten skunk mammals who in are still alive– though very few, but almost everyone who lived there fifty years ago craved dishes of skunkcabbage.
It’s only a matter of time before supermarkets like Wholefoods start selling such natural, healing foods. Women were once accused as witches for making skunkcabbage potions. The aroma, although overpowering, is irresistible.
Skunkcabbage was a delicacy on tables in the rural East during times of depression. This early variety of forest floor growth was a favorite dish at many Easter suppers of the past. These ‘collards of hicks’ go succulently with pork. The leaves are found growing in swamps near hallucinogenic mushrooms, amid ferns where lady slippers grow in closets of nymphs.
Skunk cabbage has the taste of chicken if done right. Not a trace of the pungent smell remains after a night of soaking in apple cider vinegar, following an excruciating harvest process, done only with rubber gloves.
Leftovers were used for medicinal purposes.