Food - Time for new potatoes, wild garlic and rhubarb
Sussex Life's resident foodie on the best of local and seasonal fare
AFTER a difficult winter battling heavy snow, wind and rain, it seems even more justified now to enjoy some of the restorative bounties that Nature bestows upon us at this time.
No new crop marks the beginning of an exciting change in seasons quite like the Jersey Royal potato. Despite having a small geographical advantage by being that much further south than us, Jersey produces one of the finest, if not the best, variety of new potato.
In my mind you can’t beat the flavour of the Jersey Royal. As much as people have tried to replicate this variety in other locations you just won’t get the same delicate taste unless it has been grown in Jersey.
As well as being rather delicious you might be surprised to learn that the Jersey Royal is also a very good source of vitamin C and Vitamin B in case you needed further justification to consume vast platefuls of these fine specimens.
n Upon taking a stroll through the countryside you may be hit with the unmistakable aroma of wild garlic. These delicate leaves are one of the first foods to harvest in the wild and can readily be seen growing in damp woodland and hedge banks.
They make an excellent addition to risottos and soups as they are more subtle than bulbs of garlic, or perhaps you might want to try some of the wild garlic to make a wild garlic pesto. Simply blitz together washed wild garlic leaves, toasted pine nuts, a clove of garlic, olive oil and some Parmesan. Season the pesto at the end and add a dash of lemon juice to taste.
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n The first real English ‘fruit’ of the year is rhubarb, which you may be lucky enough to have growing outside. From the tender pink stems of January/February the outdoor Rhubarb makes an excellent crumble or simple baked with some honey for a delicious breakfast spooned onto some organic yoghurt.
We are very much at the beginning of the new season and these crops are some things to look out for to create anticipation and excitement as we edge ever closer to the delights that summer brings.
Matthew Bunch, our resident foodie, is passionate about local, seasonal produce and currently runs a fresh produce delivery service for Crumbs of Sussex. Crumbs is a fresh local produce store in Washington Village, West Sussex, selling local fruit and vegetables, butchery, cheese counter and fresh baked bread.
Matthew has lived in Sussex since he was 12; originally schooled in Guildford he later attended the College of Richard Collyer in Horsham before studying Aerospace Engineering at University. He attributes his love for fine food and especially cheese, from his time spent at the Horsham Cheese Shop.
He can often be found making his
way round the various food fairs in Sussex and at one time ran the stand for Crumbs at the Shoreham
He is now concentrating on the development of the online store for Crumbs but always remains on the look-out for exciting local food ventures to get involved with!