Getting to know nature, and then eating it!

Easter forage in Carmarthen, Wales

Published: 4/20/2012 Wood Sorrel

Last week we went on holiday to Wales with family and friends. About ten of us in all invaded the beautiful Welsh countryside for some walking and sightseeing and of course (for me) some happy foraging locally. We were quite busy going off to many attractions including dolphin spotting at Cardigan bay (I saw a total of zero) but on one of the few walks we did, there was plenty of wild food to be found. Louise's mum was the first to spot something. I'm not sure she was even looking that hard annoyingly but like it or not there in front of her was a little white wild strawberry flower and this was just the first of hundreds down that same path.

The further we went, the more free food we found, and it really wasn't a long walk at all. The path was absolutely littered in places with wood sorrel. This was the first time I've ever tried wood sorrel and I'm pleased to report that it tastes great. It tastes of citrus and is a little tangy but sweet and I can imagine it would go very nicely in salad to give it a quick zingy boost or on the top of some mackerel to cut through the oiliness of the fish. Sadly I didn't have time to try out any recipes with the wood sorrel but I intend to go searching round here for some (it's not quite mackerel season here yet mind).

Towards the top of one of the hills Lou saw some flowers that looked similar to the flowers on our blueberry plant at home. I had seen some earlier on our walk but they weren't as well developed. They were the flowers of a bilberry bush. Bilberries (also known as whortleberries) are native to the British Isles and are said to be very similar to Blueberries but with a sharper and richer taste according to John Wright in his foraging book (which I now own - thanks babe). Of course, seeing as the fruits won't come for some months (July to August) so unless we go back or I find some locally, I'm not going to be able to validate that. It does however mean that they'll be out just as the wild strawberries are too... that'd make some mighty wild fruit jam or fruit leather I reckon!

So there we have it, thanks to the unspoilt Welsh countryside this was another successful forage. I can only hope this is the start of a great year of foraging to come.

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