A great French gastronome by the name of Brillat Savarin was responsible for a tome called the “Physiologie du Gout” (The Physiology of Taste) and also responsible for the odd aphorism that has stuck with me to this very day. Namely…
“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are!”
Well there has been much debate and much gnashing of the odd mandible in the past few months here in the UK over what has now become our latest food scandal. Namely the discovery of Horse-meat in assorted processed meals from Findus Lasagne to Ikea Meatballs.
I have been somewhat amused to see the comments made about how could we eat horse and when you sit down and think more about this it has been led a great deal in the publics desire for cheap convenience food. That Brillat Savarin aphorism has a real ring of truth about it when you put it into this context.
I love a bargain like anyone else but cheap does not always mean poor quality… a good chef will buy wisely and shop around for the right price or you buy something in season and abundance.
When it comes to horse the meat is much revered on the continent and I personally will not baulk at cooking or eating it. It is certainly better value than beef and can be as equally tasty.
So how we source our food is never more poignant at the moment so I thought it would be worthwhile highlighting the work of a gentleman known as Fergus Drennan. Not a common household name but in foodie circles this guy is well known as he is a professional forager. He is Kent based (Canterbury way) and he is keen to embark on a project that will not only test his skills to feed himself but also the effects of living off the land and his endeavours will have upon his health.
Fergus is currently trying to raise sufficient funds to support this project so as not to provide himself with monetary issues whilst conducting this experiment. This is a mammoth task but I was highly impressed how using the Internet is pivot-able in this whole project and more important the clever use of something I am now just a bit more aware of namely “Crowd Funding”
It is not till you delve a bit more deeply as to what the land can offer us in the way of food that you realise how abundant nature can be and there are things out there I was not even aware are edible. I have been looking forward so much over the past few weeks to the arrival of that perennial little green leaf called ransom or wild garlic. It is wild foods like this along with more unusual ingredients that make this a whole new ball game for a foodie.
The project Fergus is keen to embark upon is fascinating and his passion for living off the land is infectious. I am thinking of ways in which we can support Fergus and one thing I am keen to do is see if we can host a dinner featuring foraged ingredients with Fergus present to talk and inform us all about them. So watch this space. In the meantime if you feel you want to know more about Fergus and his chosen lifestyle he has sent me the following links… the important one for supporting his crowd funding efforts is the final one!
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fergustheforage (he is still to work out how to use this yet)
Your comments are welcomed….