orWine Tastings in the Comfort of you own villa or B&B while on holiday in Tuscany or Liguria

To book an informative and fun wine tasting whilst holidaying in Italy or arrange for a wild food walk in your area contact me on tuscanytipple at libero dot it or check out my Facebook page

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Friday, 2 March 2012

Wild food walks near La Spezia

This is mostly adressed at people who live in easy reach of us.  After 8 years of tasting my way through the wild greens of our surroundings and my book on the subject nearing completion, I finally feel confident taking a group around on a guided foraging walk.

The idea is meeting up in Ponzano Superiore and I'll show you around some of my favourite haunts followed by a gourmet multiple course meal prepared by my cousin Bart.  The provisional dates (depending on numbers and weather) wil be: Sunday, 18th March, Saturday 31st March and Friday 6th April.  We'll set off about 10 am and wander around the hills.  At that time of year, apart from it being the height of the asparagus season, we should spot at least 50 different edible species.

The menu will include one or two antipasti, two primi, a soup and some borage stuffed ravioli with butter and wild sage, a secondo of an asapargus frittata with a wild food salad and some wild greens, finished off by my legendary Spring flower tart.  All accompanied by a glass or two of wine.

The cost will be €17 a head all inclusive.  Participants will need to bring decent walking shoes, a basket / bags to collect stuff in, a knife and a trowel.  Numbers are strictly limited, so let us know as soon as possible if you want to participate.

For those who are not nearby and can't come, here one more morsel.  Some of you may remember that about a year ago we went on a wild food walk organised by the local council.  Below was one of the things we had found, but I hadn't caught the name of it properly and hadn't been able to find out what it actually was.

Well I have finally been able ti identify it.  It's known as common brighteye or French scorzanera.  The leaves make an excellent lettuce substitute as they have no trace of bitterness, in fact they have a certain sweetness.  The roots look like min-parsnips and can be crunched raw or cooked.  A really valuable find amongst all the bitter tasting salad crops.

Quick Update: It occurred to me that I should have put a contact e-mail here as well so you can book.  It's heikover at libero dot com.  Should you see this blogpost after the event, get in touch anyway and I'll see what I can arrange.  The middle date, the 31st, is now booked out, but there are still spaces available on the other 2 dates as of today (6th March).

Update 12 March: Due to a grievance in the family I have to cancel the event on the 18th March, appologies for those already booked.  I'm thinking of re-scheduling for Sunday, 1st April as the event on the 31st March is slightly over-subsribed anyway.  I know it won't suit everybody who signed up for the 18th, but hopefully we'll get 2 walks done that weekend.