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traveller’s joy or old man’s beard

Clematis vitalba. It may be slightly toxic, but that doesn't stop people in central Italy from foraging and eating the young shoots of this peculiar wild vine, a relative of the clematis.

In springtime they may appear in a frittata, with pasta in a pesto sauce and stuffings for fowl. Chopped up and incorporated into a sort of crêpe, it's fregnacce alla vitabbia.

In the old days poor folks dried them and smoked them too.

Also known as vitalbini in Tuscany, vitacchiose in Lazio, or visoni in Veneto.




Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by freeforumzone.leonardo