I love the idea of free food.
However, I’m not talking about the free dinner variety, but another kind; the sort of fare that’s free if you know where to find it.
It started practically in infancy. I’d have been too young to remember the first blackberry I tasted, but from a toddler I was hooked. In memory they were always fatter, sweeter and juicier than those that grow in my adulthood. From the end of every August, my sisters and I would range for miles along lanes in the quest to pick them. We’d search in woods for the fallen hazelnuts missed by squirrels or look out for ‘fairy-rings’ in fields for mushrooms. As teenagers, we’d go on more daring apple scrumping raids from pony-back. Standing in stirrups to reach over the walls into hidden orchards. Then, in my twenties it turned to gorse flower picking. A gallon of golden coconut-smelling flowers patiently picked from prickly bushes would make the most divine sparkling wine. Now, I make elderflower cordial from my mother’s recipe that my children adore or occasionally pick samphire off the cliffs and sauté it with some butter as a summer vegetable. Yet, the sum of what I know it just the tip of it. There’s so much more besides…
Wild garlic soup
Fal scallops, wild sorrel, Alexander and pancetta
Kestle farm beef fillet, black mustard, three cornered leek, cavolo nero and rosti potato
Chocolate soufflé, rosehip sorbet and wild carrot seed biscuit
Razor clam, gut weed, sea lettuce, laver
Red mullet, limpet, ox-eye daisy, sea radish and scurvy
Sea bass, rock samphire, steamed cockles, sea beet and oar weed
Dandelion crème brûlée, gorse flower sorbet
Pine and mint infusion
Wild garlic gnocchi with nettles
Cod with black mustard, rock samphire and steamed mussels
Gorse flower panna cotta with Hogweed biscuits
I’d tell you more but I’ve written it up for Cornwall Today magazine you’ll have to read the whole experience in the May issue.
For more information:
Rachel Lambert: www.wildwalks-southwest.co.uk who is a brilliant foraging teacher and guide
Hotel Tresanton: www.tresanton.com Were so lovely to me. After the foraging walk they invited me to stay for the evening meal and gave me a bed for the night.
It is just as the Independent says “If there is any more elegant hotel in Britain than Olga Polizzi’s
Tresanton on the Cornish Coast, then I have never been there”