If you’re thinking about edible foods you can find in the wild, moss may have come to mind. So, now you’re wondering, ‘what does moss taste like? In this article, you’ll learn that and a lot more.
Moss tastes like raw green beans, with a bit of spiciness in it and a fair amount of bitterness. It’s unpleasant to eat without proper preparation and weeding. Some mosses are poisonous, so you’ll want to stay away from those – and you’ll definitely want to clean your moss before eating it.
Let’s dive into more detail.
What Does Moss Taste Like?
So, what does moss taste like? Moss doesn’t have a pleasant taste. You can expect it to be bitter, acidic, or taste like nothing. I would consider this more of an emergency food than anything.
But, moss does also have some great health benefits like having vitamin B12 and chlorophyll. It also has medicinal properties that we’ll get into later.
4 Best Edible Mosses
Here are the five best mosses to eat. These mosses are common and healthy for you.
First up on our list is a very common moss, the Reindeer moss. You can identify it by its pale green look (typically, depending on your region, it may be a different color) and the shapes that it creates.
It creates almost a ball shape with a branch appearance, like reindeer horns!
Reindeer moss can be found in cold, dry climates.
It can be used for insulation and it is an amazing spice.
You can eat small amounts raw, but if you eat too much, it can upset your stomach because it has a fairly high acidic content. It’s recommended to boil it first.
Reindeer moss tastes less bitter than most types of mosses.
Oakmoss is similar to Reindeer moss and is found in similar climates too. These don’t have a ball-like appearance though and can grow much longer than an inch.
Oakmoss looks like it has Oaktree branches. These can be found across North America and Europe.
You MUST boil Oakmoss before eating it. It is very acidic and will give you severe food poisoning if eaten raw. Boil it until it is soft and mushy.
This is a radically different kind of moss found all the way in Asia and the UK. It’s typically found in stone, next to direct sunlight.
This moss can grow up to 7-inches long and darkens towards the base. This is most commonly used as a spice. Like all mosses, it’s recommended that you boil it.
Wali is a type of moss found in most parts of North America. You can find these on Conifer trees, especially in higher elevations. This moss grows very long and is a brown color.
You will most likely need to climb a tree to get hold of this delicacy. This is one of the few species of moss that tastes rather good.
How to Prepare Moss to Eat?
Moss should not be used as a main dish but as a side dish to other foraged foods. When preparing moss, it’s essential first to remove as much dirt and grime as you can.
Eating dirt is a surefire way to get food poisoning. Next, although it’s not always necessary to boil, it’s highly recommended.
Some species of mosses are very acidic and can give you some bad stomach problems, so boiling it for a good 20-30 minutes is just a safety precaution to take. This will take away a lot of that bitter flavor, and it will soften it.
After that, you can put some additional spices and sauces on it if you have that available.
Can You Eat Moss Raw?
Most types of moss are safe to eat raw, although some may have an unusually bitter taste. Mosses are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including iodine, which is essential for proper thyroid function.
Do Animals Eat Moss?
Most animals do not eat moss. Moss is not a very nutritious food, so animals usually avoid it. Some animals, such as snails and slugs, may eat moss if they are desperate for food, but this is not a common occurrence.
Other Uses for Moss?
Moss is also known to filter water very well. I have used Sphagnum moss to filter water before and it gets the job done. On top of that, moss has a bunch of medicinal uses that we’ll get into right now.
How Can Moss Be Used Medicinally?
Herbalists have used mosses for treating all sorts of things. Here’s what it can fix if you process it correctly:
- Dressing wounds
- Inflammatory skin conditions
Moss was used in WW1 to dress wounds because they ran out of other dressings and they found that moss-covered wounds healed much faster and had better results than traditional dressings.
So, what does moss taste like? Most mosses don’t have a pleasant taste but are typically edible. They’re recommended to be used as side dishes and it’s highly recommended that you boil them.
These mosses have some nutrition that’s good for you, along with plenty of great medicinal uses as well.
Have you eaten moss or used it as medicine before? If you have, let us know what your experience was like in the comments down below and keep prepping!