Its a privilege to have the opportunity and freedom to develop one off menus for our customers to help celebrate their significant occasions. This week was extra special as the occasion is to be hosted in Sheffield’s Botanical gardens and I needed no excuse to visit on Wednesday evening in beautiful spring like sunshine. A_Himalayan_Inspired_Menu_PJtaste_2014
The topic of special concern was the new Himalayan gardens and I was looking for plants with a link to foods we could use for a special June menu. Its actually amazing how many plants have edible derivatives and links to food crops which have been developed from them. Obviously there is some need to be careful about what is actually used in terms of both food safety and collection. For example although certain populations may have eaten say Indian Pokeweed they may have become accustomed to it and we could find we have allergic and other reactions. For interest here is some information from the web site Plants of the Future(http://www.pfaf.org/user/default.aspx) which is a very useful resource of over 7000 plants focusing on their usefulness to humans.
“Indian pokeweed Phytolacca acinosa – Poke salad (‘poke salat’) is considered part of traditional southern U.S. cuisine, where it is cooked three times in three changes of boiling water to remove some of the harmful components. Toxic constituents which have been identified include the alkaloids phytolaccine and phytolaccotoxin, as well as a glycoprotein.
Anyway here is the menu as it stands so far: