The Return of the Burry Dog
Yes, readers, It’s that time of year again: It’s Burdock Time.
I’ve written at some length about burdock and its progeny, the burr, as well as about wonderfully bizarre ancient celebrations like the burry man. So I’m familiar with this tenacious non-native weed whose extraordinary clinginess inspired the invention of velcro. And yet, despite my heightened burdock awareness, on a recent walk on the upper pathway inside Riverside Park, the dog and the burdock became again … as one.
The day shone, the air was fresh, and for a moment, all had seemed right with our little world. And then the dog started limping. Checking his paws, I found burrs, burrs and more burrs. In a moment of inattention, lulled by the beauty of the day, we had once again been ambushed by burdock, which lies in wait for moving targets like my poor dog in order to spread its seed and take over an unsuspecting world.
Since I first wrote about burrs in 2010, readers have shared their burry encounters. Carlie wrote me about the annual Burdock Festival of Benson, Vermont. And Tricia of Amusing the Zillion, the peerless blog of all things Coney Island, told me burdock is a Japanese delicacy known as gobo, and is readily available at local Japanese restaurants. (Note to Tricia: we still need to meet up for that burdock dish in the East Village.) I also learned that burdock root, which is said to have anti-bacterial and healing properties, was one of the original ingredients in root beer, which is the nicest thing I’ve heard about burdock yet.
Now I see that NYC’s own forager, Wildman Steve Brill, offers lots of burdock information as well as a video on cooking the evil vegetable.
And there seems to be a whole movement to Eat the Weeds, which sounds to me like a very good idea, indeed.
Just do us all a favor, and start with burdock. The dog and I will thank you.2012, dogs, Domestic animals, Fall, Flora, In the City, NYC Parks, Riverside Park, Seasons comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.