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Thursday - May 02, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Edible Plants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Can bastard cabbage be eaten from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford


On a local cooking show they were talking about cooking local foods and mentioned bastard cabbage but never showed how to cook it or if it was in fact edible. Would be a way to help get rid of it if we could eat it, cook it, whatever. Please let me know if either is possible.


We think the reference to Rapistrum rugosum (Bastard Cabbage) on a cooking show was meant as a joke. If so, we aren't laughing. Even if it were edible (and we can find no indication otherwise) there are not enough people hungry enough to go out on the Texas roadsides to gather, cook and eat the stuff, any part of it. Many of the members of the Mustard family (which this is) are indeed edible, and this plant is sometimes referred to as "wild turnip."  We are sure that the reason there was no recipe nor cooking demonstration on the program is because there are no such recipes and no one would be brave enough to eat something not certified by experts as non-toxic to humans.


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