BOSTON (MainStreet) -- There have been recent reports of impoverished North Korean farmers reduced to eating boiled tree bark for sustenance. Characters in the best-selling novel (soon to be film) The Hunger Games resort to a similar survival tactic.
In Finland, bark bread made from pine and birch trees was born in a time of famine and remains popular to this day throughout Scandinavia (a tongue-in-cheek recipe can be found here).
Could bark now also be heading to a trendy bar or restaurant near you?
Just as chefs are rediscovering a "snout-to-tail" approach to meats, a "whole tree" approach to dining is slowly branching its way into the culinary world.
The idea of feasting on wood may sound more unusual than it really is.
To start with, you probably already eat wood on a regular basis. Though hardly an industry secret, many consumers were surprised -- after an unsuccessful class-action suit over Taco Bell
"Most people don't really think of trees as a source of food," he says. "Of course, when you remind them that trees give fruits and nuts, they go, "Oh, yes, ah-ha!"