Foraging – Let’s go wild!
Foraging is simply the gathering of wild foods from hedgerows and woodlands, something our ancestors used to do always and that is now coming back into fashion. It can be great fun and very often the flavour of the wild food is so much better than shop bought offerings or perhaps it just seems that way because of the work we put in to gather it!
This is a great time of year for going foraging with wild fruits, berries, mushrooms and other bounty on offer. Just beware, unless you are absolutely sure of what you are picking, don’t eat it. We want you safe and sound and especially with mushrooms, the tasty ones can look very similar to some very poisonous varieties. When I started foraging, I went on some great expeditions with a specialist called Jesper Launder who is actually a medical herbalist. He runs foraging days in various parts of the country and as well as getting some incredible information, he’s great fun too and he always finishes with a cook up of everything you have found. Don’t forget to take a bottle!! https://www.jesperlaunder.com/
At all times of the year there is always something to collect and eat in the various patches of woodland and hedgerows and with expert guidance you can be sure of some delicious foods, many of which you can preserve. For instance, at the moment a fruit called a Bullace is ripe and ready for collecting. It’s a form of wild plum and as well as making excellent jam, they are also good in Venison recipes. Hazelnuts are still good for foraging and these are really good and can yield a delicious butter for your breakfast toast. Don’t forget, this is what Sgr Ferrero used to make is Nutella!
There are loads of good wines to go with the foraged foods but without doubt, one of our favourites is a Demi-Sec Vouvray from Domaine Darragon. It makes for a wonderful partner to many things but especially to mushroom dishes like guinea fowl braised with porcini or ceps.
We hope you’ll enjoy finding some wild foods and enjoy the tasty treats, but as we said before, stay safe and make sure you know what you’re eating. Also remember that our friends of the birds and other wild animals also need to eat the same things so don’t take everything, leave something for other foragers and wild animals alike. Enjoy your time.