Jon and I have both collected foraging books and edible plant books for years. We have rather a fetish for knowing what’s around us that we can scoff. For free.
So when River Cottage/John Wright brought out another of their handbooks and it just about coincided with Jons birthday how could I refuse?
Johns writing style is as moreish as a tube of Pringles (DAMN you Pringles) For 2 mornings in a row I awoke with eyes puffy and sore ’cause I couldn’t the book down the night before. So whilst this book will open up a whole world of new gastro-adventures within your locality it’ll do absolutely nothing for your looks.
I understand we are a more than a little spoilt here living in the depths of the countryside but the beauty of this book is that John shows you how to forage in any environment. There are many plants that are at home in cities as on our farm. Take stinging nettles for example – everyone knows what they look like and “while there are look-alikes in the dead nettles and yellow archangel these are equally edible”. I haven’t bought spinach for years, anytime a recipe calls for spinach I step out my kitchen door to my very unkempt back garden and snip some nettles instead. Organic, free, bursting with goodness and zero food miles, and my neighbours may even consider it weeding too!
I learnt a lot from this handbook, and I feel it is yet another of the River Cottage series that is a must on anyones book shelf.
Another book from this series that gets a review is the River Cottage Handbook No 5 – Edible Seashore