Saturday, September 26, 2009

Damsons and Cob Nuts

When one visits Ludlow in September, what is left to do but make Damson preserves of some kind? That is just what I did. The oval-shaped plums were introduced to England by the Romans. They were first planted in Damascus....Damson/Damascus- Do you see what they did there? The English introduced Damsons to the Americas, they seemed to take root and do quite well there as well. They have a lovely colour and natural pectin helped them thicken quite nicely on their own. I have made several dishes with them so far.

I also discovered Cob Nuts. They are a nut originating from Kent and are similar to Hazelnut. I find them to have a milder flavour than Hazelnut and also meater in texture. I bought the Cob Nuts and Damsons together so it is only fair they should stay together in my dishes.

Here is more reading about Cob Nuts:

In the reading of that website, it appears that the game Conkers was originally played with Cob Nuts in the 1600's. I have also been collecting Conkers/Horse Chestnuts, which are the well known form of the game. Conkers is played with a nut strung on a string and one hits another conker on a string and the one that bursts first loses. With Cob Nuts the prize is the tastey nut to eat....But, in the case of Horse Chestnuts it is not reccomended. They are slightly poisonous and very different to edible Chestnuts. Although they can be used as a medical remedy for venous insufficiency:

Edible chestnuts have a fuzzier pod, as opposed to the spikey pod of the Horse Chestnut. I love the look of the Horse Chestnuts, they have a lovely looking colour and grain to them. See:

Anyway, back to FOOD!

Beet Salad with Toasted Cob Nuts, Leeks and Damson Vinigarette

Cob Nut Crusted River Cobbler w/ Damson Sweet and Sour Sauce and Creamed Leek Fried Rice

I'm sorry there aren't any recipes. It was an occasion of just making them!

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