November
2021
What's
Inside?
Fresh Sea Radish

Fresh Sea Radish

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Any allotmenteer will know that winter crops are pretty much limited to brassicas and maybe the odd allium, and sea radish is no different. A mainstay of the scrubbier patches of the beach, you’ll find it growing on shingle, sand and on man-made coastal structures through even the harshest of seasonal weather. Looking a little bit like the leaves of a parsnip, it’s fairly unassuming in appearance, but a little nibble on the stem will soon give you that peppery rush that you expect from commercial radishes.

Although it can be eaten raw (give a bit of stem a nibble to taste the undeniable peppery flavour of radishes), we find the small hairs can be irritating to the mouth and throat, and its leaves can be a bit tough without a bit of cooking. Focus on eating the crunchy stems instead - you can’t beat a bit of sea radish stem in a salad, and a quickly thrown together coleslaw made using the peeled and de-stringed stems is a real treat in a sandwich. Try the leaves slowly braised in butter, oil or fat - don’t forget to add seasoning. When handling, please be aware that some of the stems maybe have small spines on, so it’s probably best to wear gloves.

Damson and Elderberry Fruit Leather

Damson and Elderberry Fruit Leather

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Cheshire
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Supermarket snack aisles are adorned with a myriad of chewy sweets claiming to have 'real fruit' content, yet we all know that is akin to claiming the tomato sauce on a pizza is one of your 5-a-day. What we have here then is something quite rare -  a fruity sweet snack that is nearly all fruit. Through merely boiling the fruit and dehydrating the resultant pulp, this fruit leather is bursting with damson and elderberry. Confession: we have added a little sugar, but that is just to take the edge off these two tart fruits to make something tasty, rather than a piece of confectionery that would satisfy the purists but not the palate.

Elderberries and damsons can be found all over the countryside in the height of summer, yet their flavour is often best enjoyed once the days become shorter than the nights. A pocket stuffed with this fruit leather is far better on a chilly hillside than a sweltering beach, so enjoy this chewy-yet-crunchy treat on the hoof.

Seaweed Stock

Seaweed Stock

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Possibly not the best looking product we've sent out - brown liquid with green bits suspended in it is hardly worthy of a photoshoot - but this stock is an umami powerhouse and could be a real game-changer in your cooking. All of us are familiar with using stock in our cooking, often at the expense of any creativity, but you can be sure that even just a spoonful of this smoky, umami seaweed stock used in place of a standard stock cube will add a dimension to your cooking, the likes of which you may not have experienced before. Yes, it may be a new taste to you so may require wrapping your tongue around the first few mouthfuls. But once you start to appreciate the new umami direction that seaweed can take your cooking, you'll be hooked!

Try this stock as the base of a sticky stir fry sauce, not forgetting to add something salty like soy or fish sauce (we generally don't go mad on salt when making our products) or simply add to a hearty winter stew.

Fresh Sour Fig Leaves

Fresh Sour Fig Leaves

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Ice Plant; Highway Ice Plant
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This is a totally alien thing to find growing by the sea, but that is indeed where we headed to get our hands on this non-native (some say invasive) plant that has drifted over here on warm tidal currents. It does produce a fig earlier in the year, but it is the succulent leaves that we wanted to showcase this month and, unlike most coastal vegetables, this doesn't actually have a salty taste to it, making it a bit more versatile for culinary purposes. Eaten raw, they can be a bit astringent and bitter, but cooked whole or sliced they add a really satisfying bite to most dishes.

We've enjoyed them in a number of ways: fried, bhaji-ed, candied, fermented, dried... the list is still expanding. A fool-proof method for your first time with this bizarre-looking vegetable is to keep it simple by cooking it well in oil or butter, served with fresh pasta and a good sauce.

Please note: we are aware of the more common name of this plant but have since learned of its etymology and have since decided to go with Sour Fig instead. Foraging is an open community and we would encourage everyone to do the same.

Wild Apple Juice

Wild Apple Juice

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Autumn
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Cheshire
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Apple juice? Is that it? Not really, no. These are exclusively wild apples, battered by all that nature can throw at them with none of the orchard management, soft landings or cultivar selection that the vast majority of apples undergo. Predominantly windfalls from gnarly old English apple trees - some of which must be a few hundred years old - the apples we use for this wild juice are not easy to pinpoint the variety of, nor are they necessarily the kind you would want in your fruit bowl. Instead, what we are dealing with here is tart, dry, even bitter apples that would usually be left to rot on the forest floor. The resultant juice is perhaps not what you'd imagine... yes, it is the sort of apple juice that puts hairs on your chest, but there is something deeply enjoyable about kicking your taste buds in the knackers with a crisp drink like this that is, in essence, alcohol-free cider.

Enjoy it fresh, chilled and preferably without ice. You could mull it for a so-called mocktail, but the qualities of the juice would diminish slightly.

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Matt B, Monthly Subscriber
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“Wild food gives me so many more options for my recipes and Forage Box is a perfect way to get wild ingredients into my home kitchen.”

@thefoodygirl, Travel & Food Blogger
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Nick T, Chef and Monthly Subscriber
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“What a great idea! Forage Box has transformed our midweek meals!”

Matt B, Monthly Subscriber
review stars
“Wild food gives me so many more options for my recipes and Forage Box is a perfect way to get wild ingredients into my home kitchen.”

@thefoodygirl, Travel & Food Blogger
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“Hands down my favourite subscription!”

Nick T, Chef and Monthly Subscriber
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