We’re actually coming near the end of the season, but I’ve been dragging it out a bit which adds some excitement to our lives because poke becomes poisonous when it gets too big. How big is too big? It’s really a matter of personal opinion. Some people only eat the first sprouts before they have much of any stalk, others will eat them up to around 18 inches high. Then there are others who say the height doesn’t matter as much as the color, it’s the red in the stalk you have to avoid. I don’t really know. I pick the ones that are mostly less than a foot tall, and have green to greenish-purple stalks. Last year I ate some that made my lips burn a little, but no one died.
Poke thrives in disturbed soil, so it’s thick along the edges of a new road we put in. It’s considered to be the best tasting green there is. This is true, except it’s has to be cooked and so it’s still disgusting. Even the young poke has to be cooked to be edible, and not just stir fried or baked, it has to be boiled. How boiled is, again, personal opinion. Many people boil the life out of it twice over. We don’t. I drop it in boiling water for just a few minutes and then fry it up in some bacon grease.
We probably have a few more days left before our poke patches get too tall and too red, but hopefully we can get another mess or two to freeze up for a winter treat.