Not that anyone is surprised, but MAD — the non-profit culinary think tank and symposium started by Danish superstar chef and foraging demigod René Redzepi — has launched a new initiative all about, well, foraging. According to MAD's website, it is called VILD MAD — which translates to "wild food" in English — and it is focused on being a resource for "learning about tasting, and exploring wild food." MAD notes that VILD MAD is one of the many projects it is working on while taking a year-long breakfrom putting on its annual MAD symposium.
Redzepi hopes that one day schools will teach children about "natural food" the same way they do about reading, writing, and math.
The initiative is broken up into three parts. First up is a curriculum for school-aged kids in Denmark, where MAD is based. The program will "encourage kids of all ages to explore their local landscape and taste the abundance of flavors" around them. MAD hopes that one day schools will teach children about "natural food" the same way they do about reading, writing, and math.
And it's not just kids that VILD MAD hopes to teach about wild foods: The initiative also includes a "foraging and wild food school" for every Dane. The release promises that the free course will provide attendees with the "knowledge to be in tune with the flavors of the seasons" and that students will "discover the fertile crops of the woods such as mushrooms,wild seeds and flowers, and unearth roots that taste like cinnamon." Attendees will then learn how to cook all of their foraged groceries.
In addition to educating Danes, VILD MAD will also serve as a digital database for "information and imagery on varieties" of wild food, making it easier for you to identify what really is in that salad your hipster neighbor foraged from the Brooklyn "wilderness," a.k.a the cracks between the sidewalk. If you're eager to get your foraging on, you'll have to wait just a few more years: VILD MAD will likely kick off in 2017.
MAD is on a bit of an expansion tear. Last year, the organization expanded to New York City and opened an American office. MAD also hired Arielle Johnson, a flavor chemist, to be its head of research at its new science bunker.