Last night we attended another Wild Food Night in Woolmer Green. We ended up sat with some friends of a friend of a friend - likeminded allotmenteers, chicken-keepers, brewers and campers whose company we enjoyed very much, and I may just have been inspired to give wine-making a go...
We started off with a trio of canape-type tasters, and one of the most pleasing and surprising mouthfuls of the night was that very first one, on the left in the picture. Can you guess what it is?
It's horseradish candy - apparently a reworking of an old traditional recipe for candied horseradish root but rather different. The texture's like Turkish Delight, the flavour is absolutely of horseradish, but with sweetness where the heat should be. Very interesting and rather lovely, although I couldn't quite decide whether it should really be eaten as an entree, or as a sweet, or something else...
The second canape is a mousse of rabbit and bacon - rich and smooth and delicious. And the third, sorrel jelly! The menu called it palate-cleansing but personally I found it rather overpowering - too lemony and too sweet for my taste. Still, an interesting idea that I was glad to sample.
Next, the starter; a smooth consomme of hare, served with a roll with wild garlic baked into the dough. I've never had hare before but I understand the taste can be rather strong. Not so with this extremely delicious soup.
The main course, a venison and porcini risotto, with port sauce drizzled over the top, was a bit too rich and salty for my liking, although the individual elements - the venison and mushrooms - tasted lovely and the port sauce balanced it very nicely.
And the dessert - wow! A bramble brulee, topped with a bramble and balsamic vinegar meringue. Under the classic custardy brulee was a layer of bramble and port sauce. This was soooo good.
Thanks again, Mr Bumpkin, for another delicious and inspiring evening! I have to say, I went home feeling a little too full for comfort, but then I probably shouldn't have eaten quite so much from the bread basket... Can't wait to see what May has to offer!