Tiny little England is surrounded by sea, and nowhere in the UK are you more aware of it than in Cornwall. These miles and miles of relatively unspoilt coastline provide rich pickings for the keen forager. Here are our favourite wild foods from the seaside that can be found in the springtime.
- Sea beet – a hardy, waxy, dark green coastal veg which grows prolifically around the shores and coastlines of Cornwall. It has a salty, spinach-like flavour and packs a ton of iron so go wild! We love to sauté these leaves in butter and sprinkle in Wild Garlic Sea Salt
- Marsh samphire – peaking its translucent heads above the surface from Spring onwards, marsh samphire truly is the queen of the season. This salty, luscious succulent appears in huge swathes when conditions are right, and is the most divine accompaniment to buttery new potatoes and asparagus. For seasonal recipe ideas why not throw a handful in at the end of this Wild Minestrone?
- Rock samphire – often described as carrot flavoured, rock samphire has an almost petroly taste to it and a strong parsley aroma. The leaves sprout antler-like off short, tough stems and produce small, yellow green flowers followed by stout plump seed heads towards the end of their growing season. They are phenomenal pickled at any stage of their growth, although we prefer the young leaves preserved in our Elderflower Apple Cider Vinegar to enjoy the flavours of summer in Cornwall all year round.
- Alexanders – An absolute forager’s staple in the West Country, Alexanders explode into the hedgerows in early spring and their sheer verdant abundance can make navigating our winding lanes even more of a challenge! We adore the young shoots pickled in Rose and Strawberry Red Wine Vinegar to accompany cheese and biscuits on a summer picnic, but we also use their intensely fragrant leaves to make our Wild Alexander’s Sea Salt which we love as an allergen friendly alternative to celery salt, the flavour profile is remarkably similar!
- Sea buckthorn berries start to adorn the bushes in summertime around the Cornish coastline. These luminous orange berries are easily identifiable and plentiful when you come by them. The health and skincare benefits of sea buckthorn are impressive, boasting powerful antioxidants and an vitamin C content. Our favourite way to use it is significantly less virtuous however, as we like to make an indulgent Sea Buckthorn caramel from the crushed berries, sugar, butter and cream and lash it over our favourite Chestnut and Chocolate Gateau