Friday, May 24, 2013

Pit Roasted Yucca: A Learning Experience

“We learn as much from our failures as from our successes”- Nicholas Santos after tasting an inedible bitter yucca heart

We dug a pit using the digging stick in conjunction with abalone shell scoops. They worked so efficiently it was really quite surprising. The pit was lined with granite nodules Nicholas and I had gathered in the desert and a hardwood fire of mesquite, Manzanita and ash wood burned down to coals while heating the metamorphic cooking stones. The yucca heart that we had hoped was good for eating, was placed in the pit, covered with the stones and covered over again with layers of yucca leaves and prickly pear pads before being sealed in with earth.

The following day we excavated the pit which was still warm after more than 24 hours.

 It took us a little while to remove the leaf stalks from the heart, but once we did we were left with a very nice looking piece. 

However, looks can be deceiving. The yucca heart was clearly not what the ancestors of the region would have been targeting as it was far from sweet, and bitter, bitter, bitter! We chalked this one up to a learning experience and hope our future roasts will be more successful.

We were left with an abundance of leaves however, so we will be working with those in the coming days. Waste not want not.
Keep the old ways alive!

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