Nettle Kail (i.e. Nettle Soup

Nettle Kail (i.e. Nettle Soup)

Nettle Kail (i.e. Nettle Soup) Nettles are often thought of as a hippy food, or as a plant to be feared for its sting; however, nettles have been eaten in Scotland for as long as anyone can remember. William Gardiner notes in The Flora of Forfarshire (1848): ‘Plentiful by hedge-sides and in waste places, particularly near the habitations of man….

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Dried Broad Beans from Hodmedod’s

Dried broad beans from Hodmedod's

Dried Broad Beans from Hodmedod’s Dried broad beans were once a common ingredient in Britain, and have been eaten here since the iron age. Broad beans are one of Europe’s oldest and most important crops, having been cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. The dried form was valued for its high protein content, especially at times when there…

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Seakale from Angus

Seakale from Angus, Scotland.

Seakale from Angus This pale and beautiful seakale has come from Eassie farm near Glamis, in Angus. Sandy and Heather Pattullo who run Eassie farm are famous in the restaurant world for their asparagus, which they have been selling to the finest restaurants in Britain for almost 30 years. They have been growing seakale for just as long, supplying renowned…

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Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb

Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb

Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb The very best forced rhubarb is supposed to come from Yorkshire, in what has been nicknamed the rhubarb triangle. The few growers left of this unusual, sour and potentially bitter vegetable take such pride in it they have even procured PDO status (Protected Designation of Origin). For it to be called Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb it must come…

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Native Oysters from Loch Ryan

Native oysters from Loch Ryan

Native Oysters from Loch Ryan The beautiful looking oysters in the photograph above are from Loch Ryan, a sea loch in the south-west of Scotland. The oysters that come from Loch Ryan are unique, as it is home to the only native oyster bed in Scotland to be harvested commercially. Over the last few centuries native oyster stocks have plummeted…

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Scottish Flour, Scottish Sourdough

Scottish Flour, Scottish Sourdough

Scottish Flour, Scottish Sourdough Despite the fact that Scotland produced a staggering 989,000 tonnes of wheat in 2014, almost none of it can be traced back to a single farm or mill. Most of our flour goes straight to large conglomerates and industrial bakeries. Interestingly, the majority of flour grown in Scotland is used for biscuit making. Britain’s cooler maritime…

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Bog Myrtle: Native Flavours

Bog Myrtle

Bog Myrtle: Native Flavours Scotland is renowned for its star ingredients like game, berries, mushrooms and seafood but as foragers have shown us, and places like the Nordic food lab in Denmark, there is so much more to be had, and so many more native flavours that can be exploited to make our food more interesting and delicious. To work…

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Brambles for a Fool

Brambles

Brambles for A Fool As it is the time of year when brambles are beginning to ripen I was interested to see how they were used in the past. I was expecting to find old fashioned things like jellies and pies. To my astonishment any recipes or references to brambles/blackberries were almost non-existent in Scottish and English cookery books predating…

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Rowan Jelly from Rodden Trees

Rowan Jelly

Rowan Jelly from Rodden Trees From August to October, when the nights are drawing in, it is the time of year you might see the rowan trees drooping with their orangey red fruits. From time immemorial the rowan tree has been watched and worshipped. It was said to ward off evil spirits, and a tree heavy laden with fruit was…

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Grimbister: A Great Scottish Cheese

Grimbister Cheese It is a shame Grimbister cheese is not more well known. It is a delicious cheese that will not be enjoyed by those people who think only strong tasting cheeses like Roquefort are worth eating. Grimbister is admired for its soft crumbly texture and mild milky taste. It has a slight taste of sour milk, which doesn’t sound…

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