Interview – Red Arrows
Yun Hider, Aviator’s professional forager, gives us the lowdown on this season’s natural ingredients that can be found growing in the forest and along the hedgerows.
For much of the year, the thought of Summer is only a distant memory but then along comes the blue sky days, sunshine and sometimes it?s even hot! With the long days and warm evenings, there?s a vastly increased chance that you?ll find yourself in a beautiful spot taking in some rays or listening to the wind in the trees. This is the world of foraging, interacting with nature and celebrating the changing seasons.
For a forager Summer is a little tricky; yes it?s amazing, but there is a price to pay for this dramatic change in weather. The heat of the sun while helping stimulate prolific plant growth also sets off the end of many plant cycles, with them putting out flowers, going to seed and setting the scene for in some cases, spectacular Autumn treats. The Wild Rose is a great example of this.
Its little wrapped up buds burst out into flowers and then in a couple of months its Rose Hip season. But now, not only beautiful to look at and smell, but its petals can be used to make jam or simply put in your sugar bowl and left to infuse its delicate scent.
Another strikingly colorful summer plant is Red Clover. Many of us carry childhood memories of sucking the sweetness from the flower and in the kitchen you can simply scatter its spectacular petals on your dish as a garnish.
The key to foraging is identification and watching the plants going through their full growth cycle. Its easy to think we know a plant, but only once we?ve seen the flowers and seeds or fruit can we start to feel a little more confident that we?re certain what it is, because if we?re not, we shouldn’t touch or taste, just enjoy!
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