Daily Flower Candy: Crithmum maritimum

Crithmum maritimum: rock samphire, sea fennel, sea asparagus, sea bean, sea pickle, crest marine “There is a cliff whose high and bending head looks fearfully in the confined deep… The crows and choughs that wing the midway air scarce so gross as beetles; halfway down hangs one that gathers samphire, dreadful trade!” William Shakespeare Revelling […]

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Daily Vegetable Candy: Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum: bingcai, common ice plant, crystalline iceplant, ice greens. When in China, my general policy is to eat every food I am presented with: after all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I am rarely disappointed and often dazzled by the wonderful flavours, colours and textures that are shared with me. The Chinese […]

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Spring Flower Candy: Allium ursinum

Yesterday I sang the praises of an orchid, today I am waxing lyrical about an onion, or a garlic to be precise. Monday’s Spring Flower Candy is a complete contrast to pretty Pleione formosana, although both plants grow from bulbs and enjoy a moist woodland environment. My subject is Allium ursinum, better known as ramsons, stinking Jenny or […]

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Fried Fiddleheads and Asparagus

Yes, you’ve got it, these are young fern fronds, otherwise known as fiddleheads or, here in Bhutan, as ‘Nakey‘. They are either fried as a side dish or cooked and eaten with meat and chillies, the ubiquitous ingredient in Bhutanese cooking. Sold alongside long spears of asparagus, they are said to have a similar texture. […]

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The Best Things in Life Are Free

Nothing heralds the approach of autumn like blackberries. As a child we picked them by the ice-cream tub full from the Cornish hedgerows. They were so bountiful that we scarcely knew when to stop, returning home with stained hands and scratches all over. My grandmother would turn the plump berries into generous crumbles, mixed with […]

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