In the old days, Toyon, or California Holly, was the most abundant native food available in the winter, which was traditionally a time of hunger and relative scarcity as far as tending the wild. People used to chew tobacco leaves to suppress hunger, and relied on Toyon berries to supplement their food stores during the cold months of the year.
Toyon berries may be eaten raw, but usually taste astringent and chalk-like. When dried, Toyon takes on a subtle sweetness, and may be added to trail mix, or ground into meal and added to acorn porridge or flour for baked goods. The berries may also be cooked, and are great to add into a stir fry!
|Toyon berries added to a nopal, corn, pepper and onion stir fry. Delicious!|