The Call of the Wild

Hikers in western Germany's hilly Eifel region should be careful where they walk — that creeping weed underfoot could be a sought-after (and very expensive) delicacy. German epicures are developing an appetite for native herbs and long-forgotten indigenous vegetables. This hunger is triggered by "the appeal of turning something simple and outdated into something special and new," says award-winning chef Dieter Mller, whose three-star restaurant in Bergisch Gladbach's elegant Schlosshotel Lerbach offers such exotic treats as veal filet coated with turnip-rooted chervil and flat-leaf parsley.

The trend has spread quickly from restaurant kitchens to amateur cooks, and local markets...

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