Saturday 26 May 2007
The Good News & The Bad.....
To Chelsea, for the last day of the Flower Show. Rain held off, and we just avoided succumbing to hypothermia in the midst of rose-festooned arbours and improbable banks of sweetpeas. Excellent show - although the Linnaeus Garden should clearly have taken the Gold, being not only rather beautiful but also (unlike all its competition) made sense as a real garden, rather than an over-extended floral fantasy.
The Good News........was the presence at Chelsea of Truffle UK Ltd, not only selling fresh truffles at an extremely reasonable rate, but also doing good trade in truffle-infected tree stock. I first read about the development of truffle-infected trees three or four years ago, and can recall the level of excitement it engendered. I think they were first developed in New Zealand. At the time, we tried to encourage the Brancolis to plant several dozen - they having the land on which to do so - and their lack of enthusiasm, on the basis that it would merely encourage heightened Wild Boar activity, was deeply frustrating. In any event, until now, I'd not realised that the concept had evolved to the level of being commercially so readily available. Bravo! The website for the producer can be found at www.truffle-uk.co.uk
And the Bad News? The discovery in the supermarket of the most aesthetically perfect raspberries I have ever seen. Anywhere. Bar none. Plump and brightly coloured and blemish-free. Veritably, the platonic form of raspberries. Picture perfect.......and tasting of absolutely nothing! This is awful news, as it means that fruit farmers have discovered the means of producing raspberries which look mouth-wateringly wonderful, yet which bear no relation to the real thing. Just as they've already done in producing winter strawberries, which look - and even sometimes smell - correct, but which have the flavour content of a mouthful of tap water. These particular raspberries proudly announced that they came from Mereworth in Kent. To be avoided like the plague!
Salad of Crayfish Tails in Lemon Juice, with Rocket and shavings of Parmesan.
Grilled Magret de Canard (having been liberally coated first with Garlic and Sea Salt), served with Puree of Broccoli.
Strudel of Apricot and Pear, with a Honey Glaze.