Tuesday, October 4, 2011

EARTHY FLAVOURS


Autumn is all about the harvest....it's the time for gathering and collecting…making Jam, making wine & bottling preserves.
The golden colours take over from the vivid display of summer and cooking takes on a different character too. The flavours are more powerful and pronounced, as the ingredients lend themselves to more robust, earthy dishes with game, root vegetables, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin and wild mushrooms all coming into season.
Mushroom & Spinach Tartlets

There’s something special about wild mushrooms. The fact that they have still defied modern cultivation methods and only grow wild in woodlands and meadows adds to their mystery. Wild varieties have been gathered since 3500bc. The Greeks exported them to the Romans who considered them food for gods and the Egyptians would only serve them to the pharaohs as they were judged to be far too good for ordinary mortals like you and me.

These days’s mushroom picking is a national pastime in Spain, and thousands of passionate devotees spend hours in the fields and meadows searching for them. Collectively they are known as “setas” or “hongos”, and dozens of regional varieties exist. Although autumn is traditionally considered the best season for wild mushrooms, Spain’s varied microclimate helps to offer a