Depending on which part of the county you come from, you may also call these whortleberries, whimberries or urts – they’re a type of wild blueberry and are uncommonly delicious. You can find them growing in abundance on moorland areas, including Bodmin moor, and (if you’re willing to cross the border) Dartmoor too. We recommend a hot lattice pie with a dollop of clotted cream, or sprinkled over yoghurt.
This is a well-known treat nationwide, but in Cornwall we have a huge haul of healthy blackberries, at our favourite price! Just a short walk down the lane is enough to fill a punnet. Our favourite recipe is blackberry crumble with a glug of fresh custard.
We’re always amazed when we hear of pumpkin innards being disposed of when making Halloween lanterns. It’s a very versatile veg, that compliments earthy autumnal flavours as well as sweet spiced dishes. If you’re using up what you’ve scooped out of a lantern, we recommend pumpkin soup or fritters (make them with a bit of flour, yeast, egg, and seasoning). If you’ve got a whole vegetable to play with, try roast pumpkin wedges with sage and almonds. Delicious!
People who have only tried the pickled variety are missing a trick – this hearty root vegetable, commonly grown in Cornwall, has a wonderful naturally sweet flavour and complements many dishes. Peel and grate them into a patty mix and serve with poached eggs, or roast them with some olive oil – great with salads.
The herring family of fish includes pilchards and sardines (young pilchards), and has been called the ‘silver of the sea’ due to its bountiful supply. They are also a major part of Cornish history – in some parts of the county you can still see the cliff-top look-outs from which people would wait to spot the shoals coming in. Our favourite presentation is the fresh fish (definitely not pickled), simply grilled with salt and pepper.
Mussels are abundant on the North Cornish coast, and while in some countries the rocks would have been picked bare, the Brits’ wariness about seafood means they have built up massive populations. Trebarwith Strand has huge numbers, and very clean seawater. Leave them in freshwater overnight, scrub off the barnacles, remove the ‘beards’ then use them in your favourite recipe – ours has to be with cream and leeks, though you can go for the French traditional 'moules mariniere' if you prefer.
While not strong tasting as wood pigeon, pheasant can be a little too gamey for some people’s tastes – however this can be addressed by the other flavours you cook with it. Pheasant can be used pretty much wherever you would normally use chicken, and it's hard to beat a simple roast pheasant, but our favourite recipe is a pot-roast with apples and Cornish scrumpy.
Deer meat is tasty, very lean and can be used wherever beef is called for. Wild venison tends to have a stronger taste than farmed venison, but neither (when cooked correctly) should be dry or tough. Our recommendation is to make a hearty casserole with root vegetables, though purists may enjoy a venison steak more.
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