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美国南部“有毒的”家乡菜老味道

更新时间:2019/4/25 20:29:43 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

A forgotten food of the American South
美国南部“有毒的”家乡菜老味道

It was Mother’s Day weekend, and late spring teased the three-month inferno that North Carolinians call summer. I’d been waiting for this moment: for the first time in my adult life, I was planting a proper garden.

那是母亲节的周末,在北卡罗来纳州,暮春时节,一派好风光,夏天仿佛按捺不住诱惑,脚步更近了,到时候将热浪滚滚,酷暑难耐。我一直盼望,这一天终于来了——我摆花弄草,布置了一座花园,这还是人生中的头一回。

As I marked off the boundaries for the compost heap, a tiller hummed alongside me, simultaneously ripping up chunks of red clay earth on one side and spitting pulverised, marble-sized fragments out the other. Its operator finished the last row, leaned over the clunky equipment and let out a long, deep sigh – the kind that comes from physical labour.

我辟出一块地,专门用于堆肥,我旁边有一台耕作机,嗡嗡作响,在这台机器的一头,大块的红黏土被打碎,在另一头,红黏土变成弹珠那么大的细碎颗粒,机器同时将出料撒到地上。播撒工作全部完成后,操作工人倚在笨重的农机上,长舒一口气,终于干完活了。

“You’ve got a bunch of poke salad over there,” he said casually, gesturing towards the chain-link fence running the border of my property.

我的园地用钢丝网眼栅栏围起来,他用手指着栅栏,漫不经心地说道:“那边有一茬商陆呢,嫩芽可以做色拉(沙拉)。”

My eyes followed his gaze, settling on the tall, leafy stalks of vibrant greens along the fence. As soon as he said the words – poke salad – a stream of memories flooded my brain: how my mother and aunts would pull the car over on a country road to pick a good patch of poke salad, also called pokeweed; the quick and precise way they snapped the leaves from their stalks; the smell of my great-grandmother preparing the bounty in her kitchen, finishing the dish with bacon grease scooped from an old Crisco can she kept on the stove.

顺着他的目光望去,只见栅栏边上,商陆立于田间,植株上挂满叶子,绿意盎然。他刚才提到商陆嫩芽,一听到这个,前尘往事涌入脑海:在乡间小路上,母亲和姑妈开着车,去采新鲜的商陆嫩芽,就是所谓的美洲商陆;她们采摘绿茎商陆苗,动作迅速,手法娴熟;厨房里,曾祖母为全家人做饭,香气四溢,灶台上有一个科瑞黄油(Crisco)的罐子,用了很多年,里面放着咸肉油脂,出锅之前加一勺荤油,美味便大功告成了。

A wild green that grows abundantly throughout the United States, pokeweed is especially plentiful in Appalachia, a cultural region that follows the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York State to north-eastern Mississippi, as well as the rest of the American South. The cooked, finished greens are called poke sallet; and ‘polk salad’, a spelling popularised in Louisiana native Tony Joe White’s 1969 swamp-rock hit Polk Salad Annie. I hadn’t heard the words since I left my sleepy hometown of Sanford, a rural town (at least when I lived there) located smack dab in the middle of North Carolina, 25 years ago.

全美各地都有这种天然野菜,但阿巴拉契亚(Appalachia)一带盛产美洲商陆。这一地区是指阿巴拉契亚山脉中、南段一带,从纽约州南部到密西西比州东北部的一带,包括美国南部的其他一些地区。人们将天然野菜炒熟、拌匀,这道菜名为商陆嫩芽色拉(poke sallet,polk salad);沼泽摇滚歌手乔·怀特(Tony Joe White)出生于路易斯安那州,1969年发布新歌《做野菜色拉的安妮》(Polk Salad Annie),风靡一时,这道菜也广为人知。我的家乡桑福县(Sanford)位于北卡罗来纳州正当中,是死气沉沉的乡镇(至少我在那里的时候是这样),在离开家乡的25年里,我再也没听到人们说起这道菜。

After spending the last decade of that time away as a Colorado-based digital nomad and taking an eight-month sojourn in Mexico, I’d just returned to North Carolina. Now that I had an actual yard, I was determined to grow at least some of my own food. Looking at the showy greens lining the fence, I suddenly wondered: do people still eat poke sallet?

在过去的10年间,我住在科罗拉多州,是数字游民,在墨西哥旅居8个月,刚刚回到北卡罗来纳州。既然有这么一块地,我便下定决心,至少种一点自己吃的菜蔬。我望着栅栏边上,美洲商陆苍翠欲滴,顿时,我感到很好奇:人们还会吃商陆嫩芽色拉吗?

The short answer is yes and no. If you ask older Southerners, many still remember eating poke sallet, or at least knowing someone who did. But millennials? Forget about it. I asked dozens of people about poke sallet after the tiller incident in my garden, and not a single person under the age of 40 had a clue what I was talking about. To understand why it disappeared from Americans’ tables – and why it’s experiencing a slight renaissance due to the foraging movement – one must delve into the green’s storied history.

答案是:有的人会吃,有的人不吃。美国南部的中老年人中,很多人依然对商陆嫩芽色拉有印象,他们吃过这道菜。但对千禧一代呢?别提了。上次在田间遇到那个工人,他知道那是商陆,后来,我又问过几十个人,毫无例外,40岁以下的人压根儿就不知道商陆嫩芽色拉。

Pokeweed was a dietary staple throughout Appalachia for generations. “It was a food that you ate mostly because you were poor, and that’s not necessarily something that everyone wanted to embrace,” said Mike Costello, chef and farmer at Lost Creek Farm in West Virginia. As subsequent generations became more financially successful than their parents’, the need to forage wild foods dwindled.

在整个阿巴拉契亚地区,祖祖辈辈的食谱里都少不了美洲商陆。西弗吉尼亚州迷失溪农场(Lost Creek Farm)的农夫兼主厨科斯特洛(Mike Costello)说:“因为生活贫困,人们才以此为食,未必人人都欣然为之。一代接着一代,人们的生活越来越富裕,不用去挖野菜,这方面的需求有所下降。”

“Most narratives about foods like poke sallet are associated with shame, poverty or desperation – but to me, the story is more about ingenuity and resourcefulness,” Costello said. “Those are things that people can be proud of.”

科斯特洛说:“在大多数人口中,吃嫩芽色拉等野菜,说明人们地位卑微,生活贫困,处于绝望之中。但对我而言,在更大程度上,说明人们有妙招,有办法,这是骄傲与自豪。”

If you live in the south-eastern US, you’ve likely seen plenty of pokeweed growing wild and never knew the name. The hardy perennial plant can grow up to 10ft tall and thrives almost anywhere: beside ditches, along fences, near livestock pastures, even in deserted city lots. Once mature, it has unmistakably flamboyant foliage, thick, magenta-tinted stems, and dark purple or black berries.

如果你住在美国东南部地区,这种野菜你可能见得很多,只是从来不知道此物为何。这种多年生植物,高可达10英尺,各处均有:水沟边,栅栏旁,牧草地周围,乃至无人问津的城市荒地上。成熟后,叶片鲜绿而有光泽,茎紫红色,粗壮,浆果熟时呈紫黑色或黑色。

Like many foraged foods, pokeweed comes with a catch: it can be toxic if prepared incorrectly.

很多天然野菜都会被误食,美洲商陆也不例外。商陆全株有毒,误食会导致中毒。

“In Appalachia, living off the land was an important element years ago, and a lot of our older generation still remember what you can and cannot eat in the wild,” said Brandon Pennington, executive director of the City of Harlan Tourist and Convention Commission, which hosts the annual Poke Sallet Festival in Harlan, Kentucky. “However, with mass farming and food being so immediately available in our world, that art is lost.”

每年,在肯塔基州哈伦县(Harlan),旅游和传统委员会(Tourist and Convention Commission)都会举办美洲商陆嫩芽色拉节(Poke Sallet Festival)庆祝活动,常务董事柏宁顿(Brandon Pennington)说:“很多年前,在阿巴拉契亚地区,人们靠野菜生活,这很重要,什么能吃,什么不能吃,许多长辈对此仍有印象。然而,随着大规模农业种植,如今食品供应这么充足,这种野菜文化逐渐淡出人们的视野。”

Though the berries of the poke plant have been used for everything from ink to lipstick (Dolly Parton famously wrote about the latter in her inspirational book Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You), you should never eat them – nor the roots, stalk, seeds or raw leaves of the pokeweed. Powerful toxins reside in these parts of the plant and although no deaths from eating poke sallet have been officially recorded in modern times, children frequently get sick from eating the berries, which resemble wild grape clusters when mature. Most often, symptoms include severe stomach cramps, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, diarrhoea and difficulty breathing.

从墨水到唇膏,商陆浆果的用途很广(对于后者,乡村乐坛的著名女歌手帕顿(Dolly Parton)在其励志类文学作品《志存高远:活在现实里的梦想家》(Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You)中有所提及)。虽然如此,商陆果实不能食用,根、茎、种子也不能食用,叶片不能生吃。美洲商陆全株有毒,毒性非常强。虽然据统计,尚未出现不慎使用而导致死亡的情况,不过,成熟的果实一串串下垂,常被儿童误作野生葡萄服用,从而导致中毒。中毒症状为:腹部抽搐,心跳加剧,严重呕吐,痢疾以及呼吸困难。

Pokeweed’s toxicity increases as the plant matures, especially in the root system, which should be avoided altogether at all growth stages. Leaves are the least toxic parts of the poke plant, followed by the stems and berries. That’s why only the leaves of young spring plants should be picked, and then cooked thoroughly. It was through trial and error that Native Americans, African slaves and other people from the region figured out the delicate balance of how to prepare and consume this bountiful, early-sprouting green without becoming unwell.

商陆越成熟,毒性越强,特别是地下茎块,在任何成长阶段,都不宜食用。果实和茎的毒性次之,叶片的毒性最小。春季萌发嫩芽,人们只能采摘嫩叶,带回家烹饪,不能生吃,这便是原因所在。嫩芽是大自然的馈赠,享用美味时,应采用哪种烹饪手法,才不至于引起中毒,人们经过多次尝试,包括美洲原住民、非洲奴隶和这一地区的其他民族,才摸清其中的门道。

The first time or two, it’s best to pick pokeweed with someone who knows their stuff; otherwise, you may mistake poke for just another weed. Or, if you can identify the mature plant (which is much easier due to the distinctive purple stalk and berries), you can mark the spot and return the following spring when the perennial plant is young and edible. The wide, almond-shaped leaves should be picked while the plant is young and tender – ideally between 1ft to 2ft high – and before there is any purple at all on the stalk, stems or leaves.

对于新手,最好跟着有经验的人,一起去采摘美洲商陆;否则,人们可能误认为这是别的植物。如果人们发现野果进入成熟期(这较为容易,茎紫色,浆果黑色,极易辨认),可以在这里留个记号,商陆是多年生植物,第二年春季萌发嫩芽时,可以来这里采摘天然野菜。春季萌发嫩芽时,高1至2英尺为佳,叶大,长椭圆形,可以采摘,茎干或叶片带紫红色时,则不能食用。

Now comes the (questionably) fun part: the raw leaves should be rinsed and boiled to remove the plant’s toxins. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and then drain and ‘squeeze’ the greens using a spatula or wooden spoon. Repeat this process three times, then sauté the greens in a pan with bacon grease and seasoning like salt and pepper to taste. It’s a time-consuming process, and like most greens poke cooks down dramatically, so you need a lot of it for just a few servings. Some say poke sallet tastes like turnip greens or spinach, with a slight iron or mineral aftertaste.

下面说一说有意思的地方(这么说可能有问题):将鲜叶洗净、焯水,杀菌消毒。水没过嫩叶,煮至沸腾,将水倒掉,用橡皮刮刀或木铲把野菜“拧干”。以上步骤重复三次,然后,素菜配荤油,下锅炒熟,盐少许,胡椒少许。这是很费时的事儿,像大多蔬菜那样,商陆一下锅,嫩叶蜷缩起来,一大捧野菜看起来没有多少,因此,炒一盘商陆要用很多嫩叶。有的人说嫩芽色拉的味道像芜菁叶或菠菜,富含铁和矿物质,有涩涩的感觉。

So why would anyone go to all this trouble to cook a weed that can make you sick? “It’s something that represents more than just flavours or ingredients,” Costello said. “It’s a piece of who you are and your connection to those landscapes.”

这种野菜能引起中毒,而人们不惜一切代价,在厨房里炒菜,为什么呢?科斯特洛说:“这不仅仅停留在味道或用料的层面,这关乎你身为何人,关乎你对故土的眷恋。”

Will pokeweed join the ranks of trendy foraged foods like ramps and chanterelle mushrooms? Probably not. However, there are a handful of chefs who are brave enough to serve it to the masses. Chef Clark Barlowe, owner of Heirloom in Charlotte, North Carolina, grew up surrounded by pokeweed in the western part of the state, but had never seen it prepared.

如今,人们采摘北美野韭和鸡油菌,这很流行,美洲商陆也会有这样的待遇吗?也许不会。然而,有几位主厨很有开拓精神,为食客奉上美洲商陆。巴洛(Clark Barlowe)是北卡罗来纳州夏洛特市(Charlotte)“传家宝餐厅”(Heirloom)的老板兼主厨,在北卡西部度过童年的时光,经常见到美洲商陆,但从未见过如何烹食。

“When I opened the restaurant in 2014, I had a renewed interest in it and asked my Nana – my mom’s mother – to teach me about the preparation,” he said. “From there, it was simply a matter of teaching my cooks the technique, foraging some young poke, and we were off to the races.”

他说:“2014年,我的餐厅开张,我又对商陆产生了兴趣,去请教外婆,让她告诉我做菜的方法。然后,我便将做法传授给后厨人员,采摘嫩芽,然后就成了生意。”

Each spring, Barlowe features the green on Heirloom’s tasting menu for one month while it is in prime season. “We have a poke patch that grows right next to the restaurant so it’s a fairly easy get for us, and some regular customers bring us the perfect-sized leaves when they are weeding their yards.”

春天是品尝商陆嫩芽的好时节,黄金期为一个月,在传家宝餐厅的品尝菜单上,巴洛会推出这道时令菜。“就在餐厅旁边,有一块商陆菜地,采摘很方便,有的老顾客在院子除草时,会给我们送来商陆嫩叶,是标准的长椭圆形。”

Undoubtedly, some chefs are intimidated by serving potentially toxic foraged foods. But Barlowe is confident in his staff and cooking technique – the same three-boil method Nana used. In the past, he’s served pokeweed ice cream made with juice from those exotic, dark purple berries (which must be carefully pressed to avoid breaking any poisonous seeds), and next spring he plans to experiment with a ‘poke punch’ recipe from the 1800s, a simple concoction of orange juice, soda water, mint and pokeweed juice. Barlowe says he may put a slight twist on the recipe by adding what he calls ‘rooftop honey water’, a secondary product that comes from making beeswax from the honeybees he keeps on the restaurant’s roof.

这种天然野菜有毒,可能引起顾客中毒,有的厨师因此感到很害怕。但是,巴洛相信后厨人员,相信这种方法可以杀菌消毒,冷水下锅,煮至沸腾,重复三遍,外婆就用这种方法。过去,人们可以点商陆冰激凌,浆果熟时紫黑色,很诱人,多汁水,用作冰激凌的原料(压榨时务必谨慎,以免挤破种子,种子有毒)。明年春天,他会推出新品,以19世纪“商陆潘趣酒”(poke punch)的配方为参考,用柳橙汁、苏打水、薄荷和商陆汁调制饮品。巴洛表示,他可能稍加改良,蜂蜡是蜂群的产品,蜂蜜水是蜂蜡的副产品,巴洛将其存放于餐厅的屋顶上,称之为“屋顶花园蜂蜜水”,巴洛会将蜂蜜水加入饮品中。

You can also grab a poke sallet plate with all the fixings at the Poke Sallet Festival in late May and early June. Otherwise, it looks like it’s up to the home cooks of Appalachia and the US South, foodies, and foragers to keep the tradition of preparing poke sallet alive.

五月底、六月初时,当地举办美洲商陆嫩芽色拉节庆祝活动,人们可以品尝嫩芽色拉以及各种配菜。而且,只有阿巴拉契亚地区和美国南部的家庭料理师、美食家和采摘人员共同努力,让人们品尝美味,这种传统食品才能流芳百世。

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