Joy of Nettle soup. Urtica Dioica

Written by Simon Mitchell

Continued from page 1

Intorepparttar liquidiser to soup it, then return torepparttar 147226 pan to warm. To serve, pourrepparttar 147227 soup into a bowl and add some cream. Whiskrepparttar 147228 cream around withrepparttar 147229 back of a spoon to make an interesting shape. Salt and pepper to taste. Roger Phillips suggests serving this soup with butter-made croutons, but I prefer it without - only because I'm off bread.

Right now if you've done all that - you have just spontaneously self-medicated with wild food !

Nettles are a powerhouse of stuff we need after winter. They contain: Iron and vitamin C. There are other minerals such as calcium, potassium and silicic acid in addition to flavonoids and phenols. German studies in 1999 show nettles to have a strong anti-inflammatory action. The leaves are rich in histamine - which can help with allergies. Also they contain serotonin - another very valuable compound for positive being. For this reason nettle is a useful tonic.

Nettle leaves are an astringent, a diuretic and a tonic, thanks in part to their high vitamin C and iron content. As an astringent they are used to decrease unwanted prostrate growth. As a tonic in beer, tea or soup they strengthenrepparttar 147230 whole body. The high salicic acid content inrepparttar 147231 plant can also help with eczema andrepparttar 147232 dried leaves make an easy poultice for some joint pains. Floggingrepparttar 147233 affected part with nettles was once called 'urtification' and was used for rheumatic joints. A remedy with its own hypodermic needles built-in !

The name 'nettle' comes from an old Scandinavian word 'Noedle' - meaning 'needle' in reference torepparttar 147234 stinging parts - which underrates this useful plant. Nettles were once cultivated in Scandinavia and they were grown under glass in Scotland as 'early kale'.

Evenrepparttar 147235 fibrous stems of nettles were used to weave a rough cloth. The young tops makerepparttar 147236 most delicious soup, nettle tea is good internally for rheumatic pains and externally as a balm against sunburn or as a cleansing hair rinse. A green dye can be made fromrepparttar 147237 leaves andrepparttar 147238 seeds of this plant were once considered to have aphrodisiac qualities. Useful - or what !

A famous Irish dish called 'Brotchan Neanntog' contains nettles, but they become too tough after June for serious eating. 'Food for Free', a book by Richard Mabey even has a recipe for Nettle Haggis.

Gerard claims Nettles as a remedy against hemlock, bad mushrooms, quicksilver and Henbane, also againstrepparttar 147239 bites of serpents and scorpions. An oil made fromrepparttar 147240 leaves will take awayrepparttar 147241 sting that "itself maketh".

Getrepparttar 147242 spring inside you - go make Nettle Soup.

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Chocolate Reviews

Written by Simon Mitchell

Continued from page 1

Enrobed English Fudge I likedrepparttar look of plain chocolate to this one, but avoidedrepparttar 147225 temptation to bite it. I had eatenrepparttar 147226 first one at room temperature and was suprised how much chilling changedrepparttar 147227 whole effectrepparttar 147228 second time around. Instead of melting into a mass,repparttar 147229 fudge crumbled delightfully to sweet-rich and dark-earthy flavours. It was all over too quickly. May I have another one please?

Bruges The surface crackled andrepparttar 147230 chocolate spread out in melt. Crispy chrunchles were taste and texture asteroids in a flood of feuillentine. I even tastedrepparttar 147231 crisp, starched uniform ofrepparttar 147232 chef who so lovingly createdrepparttar 147233 pancake crystals and embedded them in a pure river of milky wonder.

Criollo baton I scoffed a pure criollo baton while I consideredrepparttar 147234 next victim fromrepparttar 147235 box. Of all chocolate flavours so far it is criollo that transports merepparttar 147236 most, on a whistlestop tour of Africa that leapsrepparttar 147237 ocean to South America. I become part ofrepparttar 147238 earth's consciousness. A simple chocolate can hold so many mysteries.

Brigitte A chocolate by master makers Hermes. It melted well, maintaining its form. The outside melted in unison withrepparttar 147239 inside and flavours of almond marzipan transported me back torepparttar 147240 bazaars of Istanbul. Hazelnut praline nestled atrepparttar 147241 core. This chocolate morphed through flavours, retaining them all in a most excellent symphony.

Jockey I preferrepparttar 147242 mysteries of dark chocolaterepparttar 147243 the mothers milk of creamier varieties, and enjoy chocolates that have 'stages' which this one certainly has. The milk chocolate surface one melted away, leeching a darkness fromrepparttar 147244 core until I bit intorepparttar 147245 ground zero of hazelnut heaven. It was beautifully timed for a perfect finish.

Rocher Noir The instant tang of dark chocolate hit my hungry tastebuds. This chocolate had lacerations of caramelised hazelnut embedded in its surface that woke up my tongue with texture. The ball warmed in my mouth and slowly imploded. The crisp texture dissipated withrepparttar 147246 enrobing to a centre of almond praline I wanted to bite. I waited and worked my tongue, erodingrepparttar 147247 rich and fresh taste until my eyelids went fluttery.

Grand butter whisky This looked too milky for my tastes and it collapsed too quickly into a greasy whisky sandwich. Give me hard and plain any time.

Chinese truffle I lovedrepparttar 147248 streak of white chocolate in this one. It reminded me of Cruella De Ville in 101 Dalmations. It was a perfect size and it sweated layered tastes onto my tongue. I played with it like a worry bead in my mouth until it finally split throughrepparttar 147249 skin on one side. Likerepparttar 147250 first eruption, ginger took me and filled me with warmth nurtured byrepparttar 147251 careful ganache. It was like a whole evening byrepparttar 147252 fireside in two minutes.

Dark chocolate baton 60% Belgian Two molecules intorepparttar 147253 silky sheen deep flavours started to erupt. I was planted in black soil asrepparttar 147254 rich flavours expanded my senses. My roots straddledrepparttar 147255 ocean, one set in South America and one in Africa. The whole world was in my mouth, whispering to me its fresh, earthy secrets.

Summertime Hazelnut, cocoa butter, pistachio with smooth and creamy chocolate sail along together into a summer sea of aftertaste. Elegant flavours mixed in harmony.

Ramses Deep coffee-chocolate flavours dwell in a mystic core of smooth hazelnut praline. Aftertastes are rich and nutty, lurking for a while and coating my tastebuds with Egyptian night.

Ganache 982 Richest, deepest, darkest, strongest - scintillating flavours of coffee night, burnt sugar and butter mingle withrepparttar 147256 fresh, creamy chocolate. Was I consumingrepparttar 147257 chocolate or was it consuming me? For a moment I lost touch. This was essence of Black Forest Gateaux with a wide and lingering aftertaste.

Clever Creme Caramel This chocolate was so clever it just leapt into my mouth without any help. The first tastes asrepparttar 147258 double heart chamber melted sent me schitzoid. Caramel flavours flooded from one half and dark ganache fromrepparttar 147259 other as it played on my tongue, slowly unrobing. Then it merged my psyche back to harmony. Shards ofrepparttar 147260 chocolate chambers protectedrepparttar 147261 last moist flavours until fade.

Mango Sorbet Delicate as a quails egg, its orange speckles tempted me in. The skin erupted flagrant mango while a rich, dark core stood back to complement. Extreme fruitiness put me in a party mood asrepparttar 147262 three tastes of white chocolate, mango and deep ganache came together in a perfect finish.

Latte Machiatto Creamy milk and a burst of coffee with chocolate sprinklings, evenrepparttar 147263 foaminess was there. Like allrepparttar 147264 most perfect coffees and hot chocolates merged into a single experience. I would spend my life in a coffee bar that served this.

Georgette I immediately feltrepparttar 147265 weight of this one in my mouth. It was so heavy I had to sit down and rest my legs while I concentrated onrepparttar 147266 chocolate. It sat there like a huge gobstopper and I turned it round waiting forrepparttar 147267 flavour to leach throughrepparttar 147268 peat-dark exterior. Its form started to compress withrepparttar 147269 warmth. The top suddenly slid open like a sun roof. Asrepparttar 147270 dark chocolate coating floated away it left an amorphous shape and deep almond and marzipan flavours ending in a Christmas Cake finale.

Reims truffle From 2 degrees below room temperature, I waited a moment for this truffle to explode inside my fascinated mouth. Layers of chocolate flavours, from creamy white to plain dark chocolate and back. From chocolate day to chocolate night, carried to Africa and back by a huge Giraffe covered in champagne dust, my endorphins singing acrossrepparttar 147271 plains ofrepparttar 147272 Serengeti.

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