No items found.
Fresh Birch Catkins
LIMITED TIME ONLY
No items found.
Fresh Birch Catkins

Fresh Birch Catkins

£ 3.50 
Excl. Shipping
Pause or cancel for free anytime.
Crispy, bitter, caramel - versatile hedgerow spice.
add a personalised handwritten card (£4.99)
10g
|
Found in our
January 2021
box
INFO

Birch trees offer us so much throughout the year, but it is the catkin that we are exploring this month. Catkins are how the trees reproduce (a bit like flowers, a bit like seeds, well worth researching if you are interested in the botany side of things) and are pretty much the only thing found growing on our native deciduous trees in deepest, darkest Winter. Birch trees are renowned for their caramel-tasting elements, and the catkins are no different. Yes, there is an overriding bitterness - a quick nibble of a raw one will confirm that for you - but with a bit of manipulation, that bitterness can really enhance your home cooking. Before we give you some cooking tips, it might interest you to know that birch catkins are reputedly packed with nutritional value and health-boosting qualities, so there you go.

Cooking-wise, look no further than a hot frying pan. Get some butter melted or oil heated and chuck the catkins in for barely 10 seconds or so to allow them to crisp up (you have to get them out of the hot pan quickly before they burn). A quick taste of these at this stage will give you that woody, bitter, caramel flavour that we are after. After that, the options are wide open for you - sprinkle over hearty dishes where a crunch would be welcome. Want to go really wild? Try chucking your sea purslane into the pan at the same time for a salty, crunchy side dish!

Alternatively, if you are someone with a bit more patience when it comes to these things, get yourself a small-ish jar (mustard size or similar), drop in the catkins and top up with a couple of servings of vodka. Leave it somewhere cool and dry for 6 months and you will be left with a gorgeous caramel-coloured spirit that will add a woodland twist to any drink that calls for vodka. If you like your drinks a bit sweeter, add a little sugar at the end of the infusion period to enjoy it more like you would a fruit liqueur.

RELATED PRODUCTS
FIND OUT MORE
Dried Ground Elder
LIMITED TIME ONLY
Dried Ground Elder
£ 4.50 
£ 2.50 
A bit like parsley, a bit like celery
FIND OUT MORE
Monthly Forage Box
LIMITED TIME ONLY
Monthly Forage Box
£ 10.00 
Our flagship service. Freshly-picked, wild ingredients delivered to you each month. You won't find these flavours in any supermarket!
FIND OUT MORE
Monthly Box Gift Subscription
LIMITED TIME ONLY
Monthly Box Gift Subscription
£ 45.00 
3, 6 or 12 months of wild food from Forage Box.
FIND OUT MORE
Dried Dryad's Saddle Mushroom
LIMITED TIME ONLY
Dried Dryad's Saddle Mushroom
£ 4.50 
An under-used, very common mushroom with a surprising watermelon aroma