Foraging in the Forest

Whinlatter offers a host of wild foods. It’s not the best for fungi as it is predominantly a coniferous forest. Just the same, we have a smattering of fungi over the year, not all of which are edible. However, occasionally when the weather conditions have been right we do get some excellent specimens. This includes Penny Buns (or ceps, to use the more common French term) which can be prolific. We are using the Penny Buns for breakfast, served with scrambled Bassenthwaite duck egg and Woodhall’s Cumbrian pancetta on sour dough toast

Foraging has become very trendy these days, but in the wrong hands a well intentioned but novice forager can ruin a meal (or more seriously, poison you). We noticed a crop of what we judged to be false chanterelles had been picked by someone. Whilst the real chanterelles are excellent, the false variety can be harmful and known to induce hallucinogenic effects.
The good weather conditions this year has also produced a bumper crop of Rowan berries. We are going to try bottling these and use them in the annual marmalade making in January.