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DNR Introduces ‘Wild Maryland’ Cookbook Online

Recipes Feature Foods Fished, Foraged, and Hunted

Photo of fish, rice and tomatoes on a plate

Snakehead Etouffee by Peter Turcik

For anyone who likes their food on the wild side, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has published a new online cookbook. Wild Maryland includes recipes submitted by Maryland residents and featuring the state’s waterfowl, seafood, deer, and other wild game that can be hunted, trapped, or caught. The book also includes a section of recipes that features ingredients found while foraging in the wild. 

Fall is an ideal time for planning a wild feast, as it’s one of the most active times for Maryland’s fishing and hunting seasons – fat crabs and stocked trout are for the taking in our waters; while deer archery, migratory game bird, and small game seasons are ongoing,  and deer muzzleloader and fall wild turkey seasons begin in late October.

“Maryland is home to many proud hunters, anglers, and wild foragers and we are also well known for our great cuisine,” said Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio. “Wild Maryland showcases our heritage, our way of life, and our cooking traditions through recipes that can be shared and passed down for generations to come.”

The department put out the initial call for recipe submissions in the spring of 2020, and about 75 recipes were evaluated by a team of seven cookbook panelists who are subsistence hunters, anglers, or just wild game/fish cooking enthusiasts. Criteria for inclusion in the cook book were the use of species that call Maryland home, easy to follow cooking instructions, and specific measurements for ingredients.

Using the Wild Maryland website, recipes can be searched by species category. In addition, a special resources section is included with tips for wild foraging, directions for fileting a fish, a link to DNR’s guides to Hunting and Trapping and Fishing and Crabbing, and more. The department has also launched a Pinterest page, where users can pin recipes to their boards and share them with other Pinterest users.

Submissions will continue to be accepted. Anyone interested can send their recipes to Entries received may be published in a future edition of Wild Maryland.