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All Areas > Food & Drink > Wild Food Foraging

Author: Steven Hawley, Posted: Thursday, 24th March 2016, 08:00

Gorse Gorse

I’m sat on the sofa in my thermals with a rolled up piece of tissue lodged up each nostril. I’ve been kicked out of bed by my wife because – allow me to paraphrase for the younger readers amongst you – my persistent whimpering is causing her to seriously consider the benefits of a lifetime in jail! Even my dog has given up on me and remained in the warm, quiet bedroom. My only comfort is the eerie blue glow from the TV, which has been warning me of its inability to find signal for the last hour. A part of me knows I should get up and turn it off, but I take some comfort in knowing that I’m not the only one functioning incorrectly. My feverish melancholy is hardened by the knowledge that I’m quickly running out of hot herbal refreshments.

When gorse is out of flower, kissing is out of fashion

Because the last week of the month is always a gentle reminder that I’m only one pay cheque away from financial ruin, I quickly write off the thought of a shopping trip in the morning to replenish my tea supplies and instead turn my attention to a gorse bush I spotted about an hour’s walk from home.

It’s said that when gorse is out of flower, kissing is out of fashion, so you can usually be sure to get a good crop of the delicate yellow petals most of the year. They can be used to garnish a salad, or an unopened flower bud can be pickled and used in the same way as you would a caper. But always partial to a hot beverage, I prefer to just steep a couple of flower heads in a mug of hot water before slurping noisily in plenty of com-pany. I mean, what good is being poorly if you can’t take every opportunity to announce it to the world?

If you’re not 100% sure that what you’re picking is safe for human consumption, don’t pick it. If you’re prone to food allergies, or pregnant, always seek medical advice before consuming anything foraged in the wild.

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