For dessert, I chewed the sugary rhizomes of a licorice fern I found growing atop moss on a log at a wilderness area in Portland earlier today. A rhizome is a horizontally growing underground stem from which several stalks spring. Licorice fern rhizomes can be chewed like gum when raw, steamed or boiled. They are used medicinally to treat a cold or sore throat. You can find them in the Pacific Northwest in lowlands on mossy rocks, tree trunks and downed logs west of the Cascade mountains. You can identify them by their habit of being just 20 to 30 cm in length and having two rows of orange dots on the underside of their fronds, which are clusters of spores they use for reproduction.