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Foraging New Zealand by Peter Langlands


Aotearoa is full of incredible, edible wild food. From fruit to fungi, seaweed to herbs and much more, there's a feast awaiting those that seek them out.

Foraging New Zealand is the ultimate guide to unearthing more that 250 of our country's tastiest wild plants.

Peter Langlands has spent a lifetime compiling a database of wild foraged species, running workshops and tours, and sourcing wild foods for chefs. He is one of New Zealand's only licensed professional foragers. This book generously shares his insights to the general public, sharing his personal knowledge to inspire and educate. Not only does he teach readers about wild foods, he installs the importance of maintaining a healthy local environment, to know our land.

With more than 7,500 edible species to consider, Langlands has highlighted 250; chosen for their flavour, being generally recognised as safe to eat, and for being readily available. He only covers plant-based foraging and, as he points out, foraging for cosmetics, healing, perfumes and dyeing already appears in many other books. 

The book is extensively researched. There's common names, scientific names, and for many, a Māori name too. He discusses toxicity, identification, distribution, habitat and foraging tips and uses. Each plant is accompanied with full-colour photographs. Readers are given the tools to help ensure accurate identification, while also reminded that safety is paramount. Reliable websites and identification cautions are included too.

He also touches on permits and tikanga, offering insights into the environmental and legal aspects of foraging. It's not just about finding new delicious edibles, but about understanding and respecting nature.

Foraging enthusiasts will be delighted by this book, with Langlands' experience and expertise in their hands. It's an essential guide and reference.

But more importantly, those new to foraging will be in for a treat. Langlands will inspire, and guide, people to dive into the rich tapestry of edible plants and fungi found in New Zealand. He will inspire people to reconnect with nature, to take some time out from busy lives, whether or not they forage any food. Just taking a walk with Langlands' book, without picking anything, is an experience that will have readers appreciating urban weeds with new eyes. 


Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell

Penguin Random House


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