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In the Kitchen at the Arctic Restaurant

Wild Greens of the Klondike Gold Rush.


(Sagittaria Cuneata) and (Sagittaria Latifolia)

In the Americas, archaeological evidence of shows arrowroot cultivation from over several thousand years ago. Arrowroot tubers contain about 23% starch and have a taste similar to potatoes. The stems and tubers of Arrowhead are both edible. The tubers are edible raw or can be cooked like the stems. It has been consumed in the form of biscuits, puddings, jellies, cakes, hot sauces and meat broth. Unlike cornstarch and flour, arrowroot used as a thickening agent will not make sauces go cloudy. This might have been a good choice for the Arctic Restaurant as the tubers if unwashed can be stored for several months which would provide sustenance during the winter months. After cooking the tubers can also be sliced up and dried for longer storage. The rhizome is also edible.

Arrowhead plant.
Image Source, Wikipedia

Edible bedstraw
Image Source, Wikipedia


(Galium aparine, Galium boreale, Galium triflorum)

The flowers, stems and leaves of bedstraw can be eaten raw in a wild green salad though many prefer it cooked. It has slight sweet smell and taste which makes it a great source of vitamin C without competing with other flavors of any dish that Frederick Trump might have used it for in the Arctic Restaurant. It is found throughout the subarctic and temperate regions of Europe, North America and Asia. Usually found around disturbed soil and low growing vegetation. Best picked in spring and early summer.


(Bistorta Vivipara, Bistorta Bistortoides)

The rhizome of bistort can be eaten without cooking as well as being used as a potherb. The leaves, bulblets and shoots are also edible raw. Flour can be ground out of the rhizome by roasting or drying after steeping in water. The seeds are edible with roasting and can also be ground into flour. Bistort is a rich source of vitamin c. As an important food source for Native Americans we are certain Frederick Trump would not miss out on serving up this delicious chestnut flavored plant. Fire roasted bistort root would always be a crowd pleaser. Fire roasted seeds make a great cracked grain. It grows in the foothills to the timberline of the Pacific coast mountains extending east to the Rockies. The leathery leaves can grow up to 40 centimeters long and most often basal on the stem. It produces a dense collection of small white to pinkish flowers.

Bistort plant.
Image Source, Wikipedia

The bittercress plant.
Image Source, Wikipedia


(Cardamine pensylvanica)

Bittercress is best when cooked but can also be eaten raw for its peppery flavor. Certainly, one of the flavors that would add spice to any of the dishes served in the Arctic restaurant. Bittercress grows everywhere except Antarctica and takes its namesake after the gingery spice cardamom. It is also reputed to have medicinal qualities in certain varieties for stomach and heart aliments. It grows worldwide except Antarctic. In the Yukon, it grows in subalpine and mountainous regions. The white, pink, or purple flowers are minute to medium-sized with petals longer than the sepals.


(Schoenoplectus acutus, Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani)

During the Klondike gold rush it doesn't make sense to ship in expensive syrups when there is a healthy supply of young bulrush rhizomes right outside waiting to be turned into a sweet syrup with a little crushing and boiling. Bulrush stems also exude a sweet sap that can be stored for later use and we are sure that the Arctic Restaurant spared no expense at using this cheaper alternative. The shoots, seeds and lower parts of the stem are also edible raw as well as the growing tips of the rhizome. The dried rhizome can also be ground into flour once the fibers are removed. When Moses was found in the river he was found in an ark made of bulrush, certainly a gift from the heavens not to be dismissed by Frederick Trump. Look for Bulrush in shallow calm water.

Bulrush plant.
Image Source, Wikipedia

The Burdock plant
Image Source, Wikipedia


Arctium minus

The Arctic Restaurant may have not known Juan Valdez and as a substitute may have offered roasted Burdock root as a coffee alternative. Storing well, the Burdock coffee could be served year-round if Frederick Trump didn't use the roots in his soups and stirfry first. This is still common in many parts of Asia. The roots can also be fried up as patties after a good mashing. The young leaves would be excellent in his selection of wild greens salads that were told to be sold. Frederick Trump may have been ahead of his time serving up burdock as it has re-gained popularity in western cuisine with the advent of microbiotic diets as it contains calcium, potassium, amino acids, and dietary fiber. Burdock root's harshness harmonizes well a variety of meats and was used as a bittering agent for beer. Being German we know that the Bavarian purity laws may have haunted him if he used it in any of his in-store brew products.


(Nepeta cataria)

Catnip is not only for cats as the young leaves are edible raw and are great in salads. The Arctic Restaurant was known for feline troubles and maybe it was because Frederick Trump used the older leaves as a seasoning agent. Catnip tea and juice have been widely used in history but we suspect being a "scientific chef" that Frederick Trump knew of its ability to repel insects ten times better than DEET (though not when applied to the skin). He would have done well to paint the Arctic restaurant with catnip oil given the rigorous onslaught of mosquitos and black flies in the northern summers. Catnip is good to have in the garden to repel aphids. Catnip grows well in dry and recently disturbed soils.

The catnip plant
Image Source, Wikipedia

The cattail plant.
Image Source, Wikipedia


(Typha latifolia)

Cattail on the cob can be served up by cooking the green flower spikes. The white tender inner shoots can be eaten raw as well as the white core of the rhizome. If you are looking to make pancakes, then just shake off the bright yellow pollen of the cattail into a bag for your pancakes or a thickener for your gravies. Frederick Trump had many options for making flour for the Arctic Restaurant and this was probably one of the easiest ones. Though being so close to Russian influence in Alaska he probably served up "Cossack Asparagus" by peeling the outer portion of young plants to expose the heart which can be boiled before eating. The white core can also be boiled into a syrup if you don't bake or dry them into flour before grinding. The leaf bases can be eaten in late spring when they are young. Evidence in Europe has shown that humans have consumed them for the last 30,000 years. Cattails grow by water and are usually found around lakes and ponds but also grow in ditches and flooded areas. Conveniently they grow in marshy wetland areas around rivers too, just downstream from the Arctic Restaurant. They are one of the dominant species in wetland areas and usually densely colonize new mud flats first, excluding competitor species. It is important to distinguish young plants from irises that appear similar at an early age.

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