Flavours

Summer flavours

We have had an extraordinarily warm dry spring, followed by a cool wet early summer, which has lead to a number of interesting gluts and coming together of different species.  The pine season was a little late, but then very…

Atholl brose

This is a traditional Scottish drink combining oatmeal, whisky and honey, often with the addition of cream. When I first came upon the drink many years ago, I was initially told that the name came from the Duke of Atholl…

Sloe blossom

The small black sharp flavoured fruits of the Sloe, Prunus spinosa, are famously used to flavour gin.  Sloe or blackthorn are common throughout the UK, often in hedgerows or forming inpenetrable spiky thickets.  In April and May, before their leaves…

Wild mint

Mentha species, possibly Mentha aquatica. This is one of my favourite ganache flavours – we use the fresh green leaf which gives an amazing flavour to the chocolate.  We collect the mint within a ten minute walk of the house…

Scots pine

Pinus sylvestris, the National Tree of Scotland.  Scots pine is very strongly associated with Highland Perthshire, with the famous Black Wood of Rannoch just in the next valley north of here.  We pick the very young spring shoots to flavour…

Lady’s smock

Lady’s Smock is also known as Cuckoo Flower, as it appears in spring around the same time as the first cuckoos are being heard.  It is a lovely flower that can form a pinky mauve cloud over early grass. And…

Juniper berries

Sometime called mountain yew, juniper is a hardy low-growing tree found in mountainous and hilly areas. It is thought to have been used as a flavouring since the Stone Age, and has also been considered to have various medicinal properties…

Seville oranges

January for me holds the special treat of making marmalade; I adore the rich, bitter smell that fills the house as seville oranges bubble away in the kitchen. I excitedly thought that flavouring a ganache with the zest of these…

Sea Buckthorn

Hippophae rhamnoides We first picked the berries for this flavour on a magnificantly clear and calm October day, at an idyllic beach on East Lothian. We had gone to find some waves to continue our family quest to learn to…