So far I have mentioned Ramps, and Morel mushrooms as wild West Virginia favorite foods. It is time for another. Pokeweeds, also known as poke, pokebush, pokeberry, pokeroot, polk salad, polk sallet, and inkberry is a spring tradition around these parts.
Young pokeweed leaves can be boiled three times to reduce the toxin, discarding the water after each boiling. The result is known as poke salit, or Poke salad, and is occasionally available commercially. Many authorities advise against eating pokeweed even after thrice boiling, as traces of the toxin may still remain. For many decades, Poke salad has been a spring favorite West Virginia cuisine, despite campaigns by doctors who believed pokeweed remained toxic even after being boiled.
My Granny and I have been eating this stuff for years, and I bet her Granny used to eat it also. It tastes a lot like spinach. I like taking a heaping spoonful, putting it in a bowl, giving it a good dose of salt and pepper, and then smothering it with vinegar. Tasty! My wife is fixing some tonight, and I can’t wait!