Hot Stuff

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in his weekly Guardian column plays with hot stuff and does stuff with chillies.

There’s a lot more to chillies than how hot they are – the range and complexity of flavour from pepper to pepper really has to be tried to be believed.

Great article which shows that there is more to chillies then the mouth burning Friday night curry or the green ones available at the supermarket.

Apricot Delight


Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in today’s Guardian writes about the golden wonder that is the apricot.

A juicy, ripe apricot, eaten straight from the tree, is one of the sweetest treats summer has to offer. But this brilliant fruit pays dividends in other ways, too …

I was only thinking yesterday that I usually only taste apricots either in a yoghurt or fromage frais or in apricot jam.

Think I might need to look at this fruit again.

Photo source.

Food fight: River Cottage 0-1 Tesco

Following on from my earlier post, found an interesting article in the Guardian about Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s attempts to change Tesco’s chicken policy.

The campaign to improve the welfare of chickens sold in Tesco stores, led by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, hijacked the company’s annual meeting yesterday, drawing groans from the pensioners and standard bearers of middle England there to pose a question about their local store or to take advantage of a spot of free lunch.

Well worth reading.

Hugh loses Tesco chicken vote

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, he of River Cottage fame, has alas failed in his attempt to get Tesco to change their chicken policy.

The BBC reports on his attempt at the Tesco shareholders meeting.

Tesco shareholders have not backed proposals to improve welfare standards for chickens championed by TV cook Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

The chef wanted investors to adopt new standards for rearing birds, but the plan got fewer than 10% of votes at its annual general meeting in Solihull.

Read more.

Though this is a setback for Hugh’s campaign, a lot of consumers are changing their own buying habits. Over the last few years virtually all of the chicken I buy has been organic for me the main reason has been flavour and concerns about chemicals used.

I have noticed recently in both Sainsburys and Morrisons the amount of shelf space they give free range, organic and RSPCA Freedom chicken has really increased.

However with the continuing economic pressures on consumers, will price give way to quality and taste? According to an article I read in the Guardian, the answer is no, as what goes first with an economic downturn is going out to restaurants.

So what kind of chicken do you buy and why?


 In the Guardian, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall writes about how much he enjoys the artichoke.

Raw, boiled, grilled, baked or stuffed, the globe artichoke is one of summer’s most welcome treats. Who’d have thought a thistle could taste so good?

Personally I really like artichokes, I think my preference is for the chargrilled ones that are then marinaded in olive oil, herbs and spices.

I do also like fresh, but preference is for the Italian style anti-pasto type ones you can buy.

Turn your easter eggs into a cake

Too much chocolate in the house?

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recommends in the Guardian this week to turn them into a cake.

Freaked out by the mountain of Easter eggs knocking around the house this weekend? Never fear – turn them into a cake instead

To be honest, nice idea, but the picture in the magazine looked foul.

Turn your easter eggs into a cake

Happy Easter and all that.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on Magic Dust

According to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall writing in today’s Guardian, he loves Magic Dust.

However before you get all worried and start writing the Daily Mail, Hugh is writing about cinnamon.

Something has to be done about February. This measly month creeps round every year without any sign of remorse for the misery it causes. The only known cure is an exotic holiday in a far-off, sun-kissed land…

But since we’re not allowed those any more, let’s try the next best thing: an exotic holiday in your own kitchen. In search of paradise, or at least a little domestic warmth, I’ll be spending the rest of the month cosying up to a few of our favourite spices. This week, it’s cinnamon.

Read more.

Book Choice – The River Cottage Fish Book

My book choice this week is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s excellent River Cottage fish book.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s excellent River Cottage fish book

The Spectator said:

Simply the best and most comprehensive work on the subject I have read… a well-illustrated compendium to British fish, it is a great reference book and a good read.

It’s the book which accompanies the television series.

Certainly if you are looking for a fish book which covers some non-traditional more sustainable fish then this is the book for you.

Buy the book from Amazon.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall calls them “little beauties”

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall calls them “little beauties”, what is he talking about?



If ever there were a humble grain, it would be the oat. Derided by the ancient Greeks as a diseased type of wheat, it was dismissed in many cultures as food for the poor, or for animals, and to this day is often undervalued. It still retains an association with dusty health food shops and sloppy institutional breakfasts. Porridge will never be glamorous. Oatcakes are unlikely to become the new blini.

Read more with some great recipes.

Photo source.