We Did Eat Kudzu at Our Summer Summit

You Will Never Guess What We Are Getting Ready To Do

Dr. Jay Bolin and His Invasive Plants and Animals Focus Group

Eating Kudzu
By Rafaello

I went to a unique Discovery Group on Tuesday. It combined poison ivy and deep-frying. (No, we didn't deep-fry the ivy). The discovery session was called "Invasive Species and Biodiversity: Eating the Plant that ate the South!" and was taught by Dr. Jay Bolin, a biology professor here at Catawba College.

Dr. Bolin started out the session by talking about specific invasive species, what they are, and how they work.

He then told us we were going to go pick some kudzu. After walking for about 15 minutes (of which the last 5 minutes was through a lot of poison ivy), we got to the kudzu. Kudzu is a nasty plant. It is a vine that grows extremely fast, and basically on anything. I saw some kudzu climbing up trees basically everywhere. We picked kudzu (while avoiding the poison ivy that was also everywhere).

Oddly enough, Dr. Bolin himself is extremely sensitive to poison ivy. But, as he says, "I'm a botanist. I'm crazy about plants. It's what I do."

After picking some, we went back to the classroom. After drying off (it started to rain as we were heading back), we battered and fried the kudzu. It tasted great (though not that much different than most other deep-fried foods).

At some point, someone suggested deep-frying some other foods. By the end of the session, we had battered then fried PB&J sandwiches, bananas, cookies, peanut butter crackers, and some kudzu flowers.

We had a really fun (and greasy) time!

Dr. Bolin Proves You Can Fry Just About Anything

Ask These Happy Campers About Experiment Kudzu Fry (cool) 
and About Invasive Species (not cool)

No. It Didn't Taste Like Chicken (as they say about most unusual foods).


  1. FIRST! Kudzu is amazing!

  2. Take revenge on invasive species by eating them!

    The kudzu fry sounds a bit like a really clever intervention to control the Asian Lion Fish invasion of the Caribbean (which apparently was precipitated by an earthquake/tsunami in California washing fish from home aquaria into the ocean). These invasive fish have been wreaking havoc on coral reefs.

    One big part of the intervention was to get local home cooks and restaurants recipes and tastings to get them to catch and eat it.

    Cheers, Diana, aka Rafaello's mom


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