Following a fortnight in Italy, a boozy week and then even boozier weekend at the Standon Calling festival where all I ate was pancakes, ribs and curry, as delicious as all of that was I was seriously in need of some veggie time yesterday. Good job then that my day job required a visit to luxury fruiterers Mash, at their brand spanking new warehouse in West London.
Mash are a top-end specialist supplier and have a variety of fine-dining and Michelin restaurants on their books. They also support pop-ups, charity endeavors and all sorts of initiatives that give back to the industry, in a refreshing breakaway from cold corporate entities. They are the Willy Wonka of fruit and veg, and everything you can imagine was there.
The most interesting thing I sampled was the Szechuan button – the little spongy yellow flower bud of the Szechuan pepper plant, that on chewing the thing, initially gives a nice fragrant tingle, then eventually feels like you’re munching on a battery with no relief in sight. After producing pints of saliva and losing the ability to taste anything else it fades away, but I’m sure it will stick in the memory for a while!
The resulting bag of swag (some of it is above..) left me with enough dinner for the rest of the week, and I kicked off with one of my faves – honey and mustard glazed sausages with roasted baby carrots and shaved courgette with tomatoes and olive oil, and some of the Parmesan and lemon I picked up in Amalfi. I shaved a bit of fennel on top too (main pic). So easy, and a nice token-Monday-mostly-veg meal. Winner!
(Check out Mash Director David Swain’s Twitter for more lovely photos)