Daily Archives: 10th of April 2012

In praise of Urtica dioica

Urtica dioica

Image: Wikimedia Commons

In the bad old days before Mr Sainsbury and Mr Tesco worked their airmiles magic on the planet, this time of year was known as the “hungry gap” – the time between using up last year’s harvest and starting to eat this year’s crops. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and over dinner this evening we discussed who was the first person to get stuck into a meal containing a toxic cocktail including acetylcholine, histamine, moroidin, leukotrienes, and possibly formic acid (ref). A pretty hungry one, I’d bet.

Fortunately, careful picking (!) and a little cooking renders this toxic feast quite palatable. For the gastronome who remains unconvinced, I would recommend Mr Fearnley-Wittingstall’s treatment: nettle soup

Note to chef – maybe a little more garlic next time.