Seasonal food in Summer
Did you know that the 16th July was National Cherry Day? These little red jewels dangling from the trees is a sure sign of summer and they are at their best at this time of year. While you can’t visit Godshill Orchards, you can pick up a host of their seasonal fare from farm shops around the Island. They not only grow cherries but a selection of other fruits, including apricots, plums and greengages.
If you head to Arreton Barns and visit the onsite farm shop, Farmer Jack’s, they exclusively stock products made from the bountiful fruit that’s produced at this orchard. Try jams and chutneys, we can recommend the cherry juice as a little sweet treat.
The Island is famous for its garlic and The Garlic Farm is the home of this versatile bulb. Serving up garlic in everything from chutneys, mayos and even ice-cream – don’t be put off, think seasalt and caramel, sounds odd at first, but one bite and you’re converted.
How do you serve yours?
- Are you a thin sliver server of garlic? It’s great for sautéing until golden and if you love your greens, dish up over spinach.
- Simple, but effective, cut the cloves in half. Insert in to roast lamb (along with rosemary before roasting) or add to stews. They become tender and delicious!
- Grating garlic is perfect for garlic butter. Add the grated bulbs to butter, mix up and then roll into a tube using greaseproof paper, keep it in the fridge and slice as needed. Great over a medium/rare steak.
Remember going strawberry picking as a child and popping more in your mouth than what went in the punnet? Ah childhood memories. While you can’t pick your own on the Island anymore, the local farm shops are stocked with these sweet berries.
How about taking your Island grown strawberries in the form of an Isle of Wight, much loved, spirit? Pay a visit to The Mermaid Bar in Pondwell, owned by the Isle of Wight Distillery. Home to the, spirit of the sea, Mermaid Gin. This refreshing drink now comes in a pink variety. True to its routes, the Distillery is using Island produce in this new edition, in the form of locally grown strawberries.
Another summer favourite, the raspberry is (as we like to call it) the strawberries tarter cousin. A delightful sharp snack, you can no longer pick your own but why not grow your own? Buy a raspberry tree from one of the local garden centres, such as Busy Bee and cultivate your own ready for next summer. If you’re looking for a raspberry flavoured tipple, try the liquer at Rosemary Vineyard.
Seafood – crab and mackerel
Well, it wouldn’t be summer on the Island without fresh seafood now would it? Known for our variety of locally sourced fresh fish, restaurant specials boards are bursting with choice at this time of year. But if you’re thinking or eating at home head on down to places such as Haven Fishery or Captain Stan’s to pick up some of the freshest fish you can buy. Simply grill the stripey mackerels on the BBQ with a touch of Wight Salt, sometimes keeping it simple lets the excellent produce speak for itself.