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Apparently hipsters are now into food foraging…

Graham Lee Brewer_400x400

The contemplative hipster pictured above is local gadfly Graham Lee Brewer. Until recently, he was a political reporter for The Oklahoman. I guess the paper must have felt as comfortable having a certified hipster cover Oklahoma politics as I do not drinking on the weekend, because Graham is now a "general assignment" reporter. This is isn't a bad thing for Graham. For one, he no longer has to worry about lawmakers mistaking him for the capitol barista. Two, he gets to cover the hipster beat.

From an article in Sunday's Oklahoman:

Oklahomans forage through fields for wild food

Standing amongst a knee-high patch of leafy green plants nestled between towering trees, Andon Whitehorn and Colin Stringer each pick a single leaf and study it closely. What is this, one asks the other. Only one way to find out: try a bite.

Whitehorn, 29, and Stringer, 25, both of Oklahoma City, are co-owners and chefs at the burgeoning restaurant Nani, and they are on the hunt for local herbs to incorporate in their cuisine. They are also part of the growing, yet ancient, practice of foraging for food.

“The vast majority of edible things are what most people would consider weeds,” Whitehorn said.

They each spit out the leaves. No good, they said before moving along...

Stranger and the other foragers interviewed for this story also uniformly said safety is the most important rule when foraging. They encourage those interested to not simply try plants by trial and error or read books, but to start slow and find an experienced forager to shadow.

“There are a lot of things that look similar,” Stranger said. “Wild carrots and yarrow look the same, but one is delicious and the other can kill you.”

Well, I guess you can add Nani to the list of restaurants Patrick will never eat at in his life. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't want my food to be handpicked by a bunch of hipsters wandering through the Oklahoma countryside singing Fleet Foxes songs and grabbing whichever red berries or weed they think tastes good and then having it thrown in a salad. Not only do you have to worry about it being safe to eat, but what if it's covered in deer piss or something? I want whatever's on my plate to be grown on a farm in Mexico, picked by poor people and then delivered to a restaurant via a refrigerated Sysco truck. Go America!

I stopped by the Nani website to see their menu and they actually didn't have one. That's because the restaurant technically isn't even open yet. However, they did have this cheeky video. I guess check it out and then tell all your hipster friends that you saw it first:

And this:


Well, they may not be open or have a menu, but at least they can afford a good PR firm and top notch video production.

You can read more about food foraging over at The Oklahoman. Hopefully, this is part of a new hipster series by Graham Lee Brewer. Maybe next week he'll profile the Metro's 20 greatest beards, people who make their soap, or ambitious folks who sew their own clothes and/or go by their first, middle and last name.

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