Tuesday 22 July 2014

Heavenly hedgerows indeed

Moving house is stressful, moving a house come pizzeria more so. But what better antidote than a stroll in the countryside, particularly if it’s brought to life by a true naturalist (I’m hoping that’s an expert in fauna and flora rather than someone with a liberal attitude to clothing). Cue Chris of Heavenly Hedgerows, we’ve long been a fan of her range of wild produce and keen to expand our foraged toppings she was gracious enough to let us tag along for a walk.

July’s known as the hungry month but there was plenty to see and learn, Chris’ enthusiasm is contagious. It was fascinating to hear the histories, from pineapple weed - yes it really does smell of pineapple - which was introduced to Kew Gardens only to escape around the country on the soles of shoes, to the mallow plant with its edible pink flowers - the origin of marshmallows. It's fair to say my interest in plants is biased by what's edible and the culinary highlight was a wild mustard, I'd have mistook it for rapeseed, but the bright yellow flowers with a mustard kick would be the perfect way to finish a white base, sausage pizza.

After our stroll in the sun we returned to Heavenly Hedgerow HQ to cook up what we'd found. I failed miserable to recall the names of our bounty, but I’ll put that down to the volume of information in such a sort period, not my appalling memory. Chris and family share their home - well garden - with 7 hives, close to a million bees on her doorstep and it turns out Chris is afraid of bees. Now that's dedication, it'd be like me being afraid of flour.

Heavenly hedgerows can be found at the following stockists and I'd wholeheartedly recommend her foraging walks: