Founded in 1995, No Taste Like Home is the Asheville area’s leading wild food and foraging tour company. No Taste Like Home offers seasonal foraging walks led by experts.
Since the Asheville area is home to more than 300 species of wild edibles, there’s always something in season. Spring means ramps and morel mushrooms, as well as lesser-known edibles including garlic mustard, burdock root, and sweet cicely. Come summer, you’ll hunt for wood nettle, berries, chanterelle mushrooms, and edible flowers. In fall months, foraging experts look for kousa dogwood fruit, beauty berry, spruce pollen, or persimmon. Winter months offer oyster mushrooms, sunchokes, black walnuts, sassafras root, and sumac berries.
If you’re pressed for time, sign up for one of the 90-minute food walks, held on the grounds of the Omni Park Grove Inn. For a longer foraging experience, take a 3-hour foraging tour. These are held throughout the Blue Ridge area, with destinations usually 15 to 45 minutes from downtown Asheville.
In terms of activity level, the food stroll is accessible for most people. The terrain is flat, the walk covers 1/4-mile, and it all takes place on the manicured grounds of Omni Grove Park Inn.
The guided foraging tours are held in diverse environments where terrain may be uneven. You might go to the woods, walk around a meadow, forage on private land (with the owner’s consent), or other environments. You’ll need to walk over sticks, rocks, roots, and other obstacles; however every participant is invited to walk only as far as they feel comfortable. You’ll also need to provide your own transportation to the meetup spot, which will be selected the night before based on where guides think you’ll enjoy a successful forage.
Foraging tours frequently stop so guides can point out wild edibles. You’ll learn what you can eat, what you can’t eat, poisonous lookalikes to avoid, and even some history and medicinal uses of these plants, too. You’ll also have time where you can explore on your own, putting your newfound knowledge into practice.
The tour alternates between educational stops where the group is together and private time to practice foraging. Stops can take as long as half an hour in one place. If you require accommodation, let No Taste of Home know ahead of time as they can bring portable folding chairs.
During the foraging tour, you’ll taste what you find. To have more than a taste, head to one of six local restaurants that partner with No Taste of Home. All foraging tour participants can order a free appetizer created from their foraged finds. Participating Asheville restaurants include Nightbell, The Marketplace, and Zambra.
Private tours are available, where guides will take your group wherever you’d like to go. Dogs are not allowed on group tours, but they are invited on private tours.
There’s something different to find every month — and just because something is in season doesn’t mean every tour will encounter it. For this reason, locals may want to purchase a season pass so they can attend a tour several times throughout the year.
- Wild mushrooms are never guaranteed; however, guides usually bring along a sample of one seasonal wild mushroom.
- Children under 5 attend free; however, parents must remove children if they become disruptive to the group.
- In addition to guided walks, No Taste Like Home also offers wild food immersion classes where you can learn more about foraging and cooking with wild foods.
- It’s smart to bring outdoor essentials including water, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
- Tours are rain or shine, so come prepared – long sleeves and pants are strongly recommended.