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Forager shares unexpected edible plant with surprisingly delicious potato taste: 'I have a billion of these in my garden'

"They really do taste like fingerling potatoes."

"They really do taste like fingerling potatoes."

Photo Credit: TikTok

A Minnesotan forager shared a free and easy source for delicious potato lookalikes: daylily tubers.

The scoop

Forager Maya Bolduan (@mayakindamischief) posted a video on TikTok explaining how she harvests and prepares these mock potatoes.

@mayakindamischief Foraging Daylily Tubers! (Hemerocallis) #foraging #eatyourinvasives #fyp #foragersoftiktok #foryou #foragetok #wildedibles #forage #learnontiktok ♬ Upbeat Acoustic Guitar Instrumental In D Minor | Sunrise - Tom Bailey Backing Tracks

"Daylily tubers might be small, but thankfully each plant produces many," she says, holding a big ball of tubers freshly pulled from the soil. "And since they're invasive, you don't have to feel guilty about digging them up!"

She demonstrates how she cleans the tubers — scraping off stubborn bits of dirt with a brush — and then chops off the ends, boils them for 10 minutes, and sautees them with her other sides.

"They really do taste like fingerling potatoes, but with a slightly nuttier flavor," she says, chewing on them with a smile.

"I had no idea," one person commented. "Thank you!"

How it's helping

Maya explains at the beginning of her video that not only are the tubers delicious, but the rest of the daylily plant — including both stems and unopened flower buds — are edible, too. 

Not only does foraging grant a sense of independence and self-reliance, but it's healthier, too. Locally sourced food is more nutritionally rich than internationally shipped produce, and people who grow their own food, forage, and generally spend more time in nature have been found to have lower stress and better mental health.

For all these reasons, foraging has taken off on TikTok, with over 102 million hits for the term — not to mention another 9.6 million for the growing trend of "urban foraging." 

Another benefit of this approach is its dual benefit: Foraging for invasives helps protect native species and provide a delicious meal.

Fellow foragers have shared examples of everything from foraging invasive knotweed to put into pies, eating invasive wild radishes instead of store-bought ones, and even gathering invasive periwinkle snails at the beach to cook as escargot. One community in Kansas even started a local invasive-themed cookoff.

One commenter agreed: "Eating invasives is the best!"

What people are saying

People were eager to try Maya's tip. "They took over my garden! Now that I know they are edible I won't feel bad cutting them back and having a snack," one person wrote.

"I have a billion of these in my garden!" another shared. "Thank you!"

One person shared that they had grown up eating daylily root flour; another boasted about a delicious tuber salad they had made recently.

Maya replied: "I see so many spreading in massive groups from gardens to natural areas! Enjoy the free foods!"

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