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What to forage in February

February has been quite a wet month, but here you can find some of wild food we have foraged!

Scarlet Elf Cups

Scarlet Elf Cup aka Sarcoscypha coccinea, mainly grows in decaying branches and dump areas and their colour makes them very visually satisfying. Taste wise, they are quite earthy and we usually pickle them to preserve them.

I find them extremely handsome and it's trilling to discover new patches because of their red bright colour.

Wood Ears (Jelly Ears)

These peculiar looking mushrooms are around all year, but in particular during these few cold months because there is not much around and the earth probably wants to gift us something nice when there's fuck all available. Lovely consistency raw, however they are rather lacking in flavour. It's popular in East Asia to dry and then sauté them to add texture to a dish.

Scurvy Grass

Also called spoonwort, it has a strong horseradish like flavour and slight sweetness. Scurvy Grass is a great addition to salads and a good garnish for dishes with earthy flavours (great with a bit of beetroot).

Scots pine

Native of the UK, it can live up to 500 years and reach 35 metres.

Scots pine kerns have a beautiful fragrance and sweetness. With a slight bitter taste, the kernels can be pickled and used in salads and the leaves (like most pines) can be used to infuse oils, creams and vinegars.

Turkey Tail

Lovely bracket mushroom which comes in so many colours, it grows on dead wood and it has amazing properties to avoid infections and colds, and it's also used in chemo to boost the immune system.

Usually is brewed in tea with a bit of ginger and lemon.

Wild Garlic

Growing on acidic and ancient land.

An incredibly popular wild food, wild garlic (or ramsons) have a great garlic/onion flavour which mellows when cooked. the leaves can be blanched and served like wilted spinach, the flower buds can be pickled for an intense salad pickle and the flowers can be used fresh for a nice garlic hit on a dish.

Wood Sorrel

Another really popular restaurant ingredient. Wood Sorrel grows on the woodland floor, mainly around rocks and at the base of trees (can also be found in hedgerows). The leaves have a beautiful apple peel/citrus flavour which is perfect for garnishing fruit desserts.

Sea radish

One of personal favourite winter greens, sea radish grows by the sea (seems to favour pebble beaches and rocky cliff edges). The slightly prickly leaves have a great radish flavour and can be cooked like the wild garlic leaves or crisped up to make healthy snacks.

Sea Leek

Growing in grassland by the sea. Sea leek is very similar in appearence to the cultivated leek you may buy from the Co Op. its flavour though, is much different. Fair less oniony than cultivated less, sea leek has a really mild onion flavour and are incredibly fragrant. They can be used much in the same way as cultivated leek however i love to grill them.

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