Food Foraging Expert To Launch New Book During Walk Scilly

Rachel Lambert

Rachel Lambert

A regular Walk Scilly tour guide will be adding an extra event this year as she launches her new book on the islands.

Expert Rachel Lambert has been leading the popular foraging walks, where people can learn about the edible plants on our coastline and in our hedgerows, since 2009.

She’s running two tours at the event next week, on St Mary’s and Bryher.

And she’ll also be giving a talk on Monday evening, using plants selected from her new book, ‘Wild Food Foraging in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.’

Rachel says the pocket-sized guide gives clear instructions on how to identify the plants as well as recipes using the foraged ingredients.

The majority of the 21 flowers, fruits, leaves, seeds, shoots and seaweeds chosen for the book are seen across Scilly and Cornwall, and she says favourites on past walks include the trendy ingredient samphire and the spinach-like sea beet.

Rachel says the abundant wild garlic is also brilliant to cook with, particularly in sauces like pesto, and it’s a great way to get rid of a plant that many gardeners here dread.

Her book also includes one ingredient that’s very specific to our islands. Rachel says Bermuda buttercup, a type of oxalis, is a fantastic addition to many dishes, with its tart, lemony flavour.

There’s a growing trend for foraging in the UK and Rachel has picked up more interest among Scilly’s chefs.

“It’s so easy here to step out of the door, pick a little bit and take it back to the kitchen,” she says.

Her last three walks on the islands have included chef demos at the end, to showcase what can be cooked with the collected ingredients.

Rachel says it would be difficult to live on foraged food alone, but her friends are sometimes shocked to look in her fridge and find just a big bag of green leaves that she’s picked for free.

And she says spring is one of the best times to get out there and learn about what’s available on our doorstep.

Rachel will be at the Old Town Inn on Monday 13th April between 8pm and 9pm and there’s a £5 per person admission charge.

You can find out more about Walk Scilly here.