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GALLERY

Wild Food Episode 4: Bitter Root a Staple of the Okanagan Diet

Sp’itlem is a root native to the BC Interior that was a staple of the Okanagan people’s traditional diet, and is one of the Okanagan’s ‘Four Food Chiefs’. Like Ginseng, the Sp’itlem looks like a stylized human, arms and legs in motion, and is sometimes portrayed in art as a dancing spirit.

Known in English as Bitter root, Sp’itlem is a locally growing vegetable virtually unknown to most people in modern society. It grows wild in low mounds and can usually be spotted if one sees low-growing cactus plants nearby.

In this episode host Tracey Bonneau shows artist and actress Mariel Belanger how Sp’itlem is gathered with a special tool, and how it would be prepared as members of the community gathered to peel and prepare it for cooking.

Scot Roger, the consultant chef for Wild Food, prepares a sumptuous meal in the Miradoro Restaurant using Bitter root combined with grilled New York steak, halibut with slaw and a Bitter root salad, while Tracey and Mariel prepare a traditional ‘Four Chief’s Stew’ made from all four of the traditional ‘Four Chiefs’ food groups: Chief Salmon, Chief Bear, Chief Salmon Berry and Chief Sp’itlem.

 

sp̓iƛ̕m: naqs iʔ təl Syilx iʔ kmusməs iʔ yilyalmixʷm təl captikʷɬsp̓iƛ̕m iʔ sʕax̌ips atlaʔ təl BC tmxʷulaxʷ uɬ taliʔ əctk̕ʷilsəmsc iʔ Syilx aɬiʔ st̕ik̕lsəlx, uɬ nixʷ aɬiʔ snaqsx iʔ təl kmusməs iʔ yilyalmixʷm təl captikʷɬ.c̕x̌iɬ iʔ tə Ginseng, iʔ sp̓iƛ̕m isaʕc̕əc̕s humt̕iʔ sqilxʷ, əkɬkəlkil̕x uɬ əkɬsc̕uc̕uxən əcyumyuməlx uɬ ɬac laʔkin əck̕ɬq̓aystisəlx səcwanxəx.

Tan səmmacn cusəlx Bitter root, sp̓iƛ̕m alaʔ təs pəl̕lulaʔxʷ nax̌amɬ lut qʷay t̕’ac mistis iʔ aʕpnaʔ iʔ kʷliwt alaʔ.

əcpəl’al lac̕ məq̓ʷmaq̓ʷlaxʷ uɬ akswikm ɬəʔ wikntxʷ iʔ sxʷinaʔ ltk̕ik̕təms əcpəllal.

alaʔ təs k̕ʷansxix asuxʷmayam̓ Tracey Bonneau k̕ʷnstuɬts suxʷk̕ɬk̕ayam uɬ suxʷncuʔcwikst Mariel Belanger c̕kiscəlx kac tixʷscəlx iʔ tə picaʔ, uɬ c̕kiscəlx miʔ k̕ʷulsəlx ɬac ullusəlx iʔ nuk̕cwilx məɬ p̓iƛ̕səlx iʔ k̕əl ks‿p̓iʔqntisəlx.

Scot Roger, iʔ miʔmyikst suxʷk̕ʷulcncut təstuxʷcncut, p̓iʔqntis taliʔ tə x̌asc̕iɬn il Miradoro Restaurant uɬ k̕ʷulms iʔ sp̓iƛ̕m naɬ əcq̓ʷal iʔ New York sɬiqʷ, nc̕r̓sitkʷ tə qaqxʷəlx naɬ acx̌ʷac iʔ spəllulaxʷ naɬ tə sp̓iƛ̕m əcnx̌ʷac salad, itliʔ Tracey naɬ Mariel k̕ʷul’məlx tə ‘iʔ kmusms sc̕iɬn cnx̌ʷackʷ iʔ təl yʕat iʔ mus iʔ st̕ik̕əltət: ntityix, skəmxist, siyaʔ naɬ sp̓iƛ̕m.

 

 

About Wild Foods

  • About Quest OutWest Wild Food

    Wild Food is the antidote to boring, unhealthy food. Host Tracey Bonneau takes viewers on an adventure every week, hunting for big game, fishing for wild salmon, digging for little known edible roots and berries, and then turning those healthy foods into a spectacular meal.

    If you'd like to join the Wild Food movement, you can easily do so by clicking the 'Contribute' button at the top of the web page, and registering as a Contributor. Upload your own recipes and photos from your computer or mobile device, and even pinpoint the location where that recipe comes from.

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  • About the Host

    Tracey Kim Bonneau

    Tracey Kim Bonneau isn't just the face of Wild Food; she's also the brains and the heart behind the series. Tracey is a media artist, journalist, documentary filmmaker and professional writer with ...

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