I will always try weird food.

I used to love that show on the Food Network, Bizarre Foods. While it was always cool to watch Bear Grylls or Les Stroud choke down a bug of some kind, I was really fascinated by Andrew Zimmern. And not just because we're twins... But sure, eat a bug. Big deal. But how about squirrel kidneys? Straight from the forest?

Read More: Want Revenge On the Bamboo Patch Out Back? You Could Eat It...

That dude would eat things that most people would not even identify as food. And not as a point of pride specifically, he seemed to really enjoy it. He once ate an egg that actually had a fermented little chicken in it! Like, what?! But, if you wanna take it down to a more reasonable place, there aren't a lot foods I won't at least try.

A few years back, I was urged to try stinging nettles.

Photo by Paul Morley on Unsplash
Photo by Paul Morley on Unsplash

In a state where we'll pick just about anything next to a stream, or a river, or even by the side of the road. Then we'll take it home and saute it up with a bunch of butter and salt, and dinner is served! But I'll tell you, the first time you run into stinging nettles probably won't be at the dinner table, and you're not gonna like it.


Stinging nettles have little hairs on them that get on your skin and go to town in ways that are not unlike poison ivy or Browntail Caterpillar rash. You will absolutely not enjoy the event in any way. But here's the thing, you can get your revenge on the plant by picking it and eating it.

Hand hold fork and knife with and empty plate on brown wood background

How do you cook the nettles?

Photo by Pylyp Sukhenko on Unsplash
Photo by Pylyp Sukhenko on Unsplash

First and foremost, DO NOT EAT THEM RAW. Like, don't even think about it. It's not spinach. Also, wear gloves when you handle them...

However, like fiddleheads, once you cook them a bit, they're totally edible and delicious. You can check out some history, and a ton of recipes here. Soups, teas, chowders, all sorts of things. It grows in patches, probably right near your home. but always make sure you absolutely know what you're harvesting before you eat it. Always.

Read More: The Big Red Buds Growing Near Maine Roads are Actually Delicous

Maine is such a bountiful place in spring time when it comes to foods you can find literally just growing, all around you. Sure, we're a snow-covered wasteland in winter, but that's just the tradeoff for a season filled with fiddleheads, ramps, dandelion greens, and a nettle that wants to sting you before you eat it. Total Maine.

Even more reasons why Maine is the best...

Mainers Share 20 Things That Make Maine the Best State in the US

Gallery Credit: Sean McKenna

11 Places To Have A Great Meal In Bar Harbor This Summer

Summer will be here soon, so before you hit the road to Bar Harbor, check out this list of places you MUST dine at!

Gallery Credit: Arlen Jameson

32 Mini Golf Courses to Play in Maine

The golf season is upon us. The mini golf season that is. Here's a comprehensive list of where you can go drop those hole-in-ones across Maine.

Gallery Credit: Chris Sedenka

More From WWMJ Ellsworth Maine