“Sour, sweet, bitter, pungent, all must be tasted”
Processed foods nearly all contain sugars or other sweeteners, even savoury things where you'd never add anything sweet to if you'd make them at home. Common fruits and vegetables are cultivated for higher sugar contents. For those who ever ate a wild plum or prickly wild lettuce, you know that's true.
And here come in the wild greens; the forgotten superfoods. A lot of them have a bitter component; some slightly, some very strong. And this is the main reason they do not have the popularity they deserve. But I can't say this enough: bitter is good for us. And it is possible to re-program your taste buds.
When I introduce people to wild edibles, I try to stay away from the most bitter ones, not to discourage the people tasting them. But then there's always dandelion, very much in your face, and everywhere, and it's also the one that everybody recognizes. It's simply impossible to talk about wild plant foods without mentioning the healing properties of bitterness.
So here's some wisdom on bitter herbs I want to share with you. Herbalist Jim McDonald wrote an excellent, in-depth article on 'Blessed Bitters', where he explains about Bitter Deficiency Syndrome, and the healing powers of bitter foods. You can read it here (pdf file) and get hooked on wild edible herbs :)