Local Heart, Global Soul

October 3, 2013

The White Fog of Dover And the Smoky Mackerel of Folkestone…

Filed under: CHURCHES,ENGLAND,Folkestone,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another page from my diary, detailing our last summer’s adventures with visiting Singaporean friend “Velvetine”.

We are back on the road, heading south towards the channel tunnel,  but with a little careful planning and a lot of luck with traffic, arrive early enough to stop off at the harbour in Folkestone to sample some of the fresh seafood from Bob’s Seafood stall on the quayside.

I didn’t notice the sign on the side of the stall last time we were here… it raised a giggle for the refreshing honesty of it’s humour.

Himself and Velvetine indulged in the shellfish mixture of goodies and crab salad, whilst I delighted in the smoked mackerel one last time before we leave.

Since we had allowed a little extra time for possible traffic delays between Canterbury and here, and there had been none, we also had enough time for Himself to zip into a local supermarket and stock up on a few British foodie treats. We also drove up the hill a little so that we could try and catch a proper glimpse of the white cliffs of Dover, since last time we were here there was sunshine but also a thick sea mist, but the English weather conspired against us once again and we could only catch a glimpse through the rain shower clouds and fog. In the drizzle of the English weather we take to the road once again…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 27, 2013

Sea Asparagus is Samphire …and Vinegar Gets A Kick!

Filed under: ENGLAND,Folkestone,FOOD,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

From my last Summer’s Diary: We are taking “Velvetine” our Singaporean friend on a whirlwind tour, she barely got her feet onto Dutch soil when we bundled her into a rented people carrier van and headed via Belgium, France and via the channel tunnel to England.

We are spending the night with some friends of ours in Folkestone and they’ve bought us to Bob’s Seafood kiosk at the harbour, which featured in yesterday’s post.

It’s as mystifying to me why the English put vinegar on their french fries as it is to the English why the Dutch put mayonnaise on theirs…  but today my visiting Foodie Friend and I saw something that may completely vindicate this strange habit.

The vinegar at Bob’s Seafood has been infused with chilies!

If I were French it would be Oh La La… this place has surely found a way to make vinegar very very interesting indeed. We were so busy enjoying the fishy dishes we completely forgot to be bold enough to ask for the recipe, but if some of my other infusion recipes are anything to go by, the just plain simple method is probably the best… I’d hazard a guess at it being: Vinegar + Chilies + some decent infusion time!

The harbour at Folkestone is also very much a working fishing port as well as a tourist attraction.

There are  shops for daily caught fresh fish along the quay and our Singaporean friend is very keen to sample a local delicacy:  Samphire Himself really likes Samphire every now and again but I know relatively little about it so looked up Wikipedia:

“Samphire is a name given to a number of distinct edible plants that grow in some coastal areas. Rock samphire, Crithmum maritimum is a coastal species with white flowers that grows in the United Kingdom.

This is probably the species mentioned by Shakespeare in King Lear. Golden samphire, Inula crithmoides is a coastal species with yellow flowers that grows across Eurasia. Marsh samphire is another name given to the edible glassworts, genus Salicornia. Samphire is commonly used to describe plants from the Australian genus of succulent coastal plants Tecticornia, and from the cosmopolitan genus Sarcocornia.

Originally “sampiere”, a corruption of the French “Saint Pierre” (Saint Peter), samphire was named for the patron saint of fishermen because all of the original plants with its name grow in rocky salt-sprayed regions along the sea coast of northern Europe or in its coastal marsh areas. It is sometimes called sea asparagus or sea pickle. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In Norfolk it is commonly called sampha [sam-fa]. In North Wales, especially along the River Dee’s marshes, it has always been known as sampkin.

All the plants bearing the name are annuals that begin growing in late autumn and vegetate throughout the winter until the first warm weather arrives.

Then the first stems and internodes form, and by mid-spring the plant measures 6 to 8 cm. Marsh samphire ashes were used to make soap and glass (hence its other old English name, “glasswort”).

In the 14th century glassmakers located their workshops near regions where this plant grew, since it was so closely linked to their trade. Samphires of all kinds have long been eaten in England.

The leaves were gathered early in the year and pickled or eaten in salads with oil and vinegar.

It is mentioned by Shakespeare in King Lear: Half-way down Hangs one that gathers samphire; dreadful trade! (Act IV, Scene VI). This refers to the dangers involved in collecting rock samphire on sea cliffs.

Marsh samphire (Salicornia bigelovii) is being investigated as a potential biodiesel source that can be grown in coastal areas where conventional crops cannot be grown. Samphire is gaining popularity in the UK, being served more often in restaurants as an accompaniment to fish dishes, and is also found more often in supermarkets. On the west coast of Canada the plant is known as “Sea Asparagus” and is served in restaurants and specialty markets.

I like to see that the fish is caught by their own boat and then sold on the quayside of the harbour… as far as buying your food as close as possible to the source, you can hardly get fewer “food miles/kilometers” than this!  At the end of the harbour area is a bridge, the low arches of which we need to go under ro get back into the town. Then it’s one last look around and a few quick views of the harbour before we head away. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

around Folkstone 1s (Small)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samphire

July 26, 2013

Sea Food …and Eating it Too…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velvetinenut) posted with permission

Following yesterday’s post, you are turning the pages of my travel diary as I document our last Summer’s adventures.

We are staying a few days with friends in Folkestone and our host has bought us to “Bob’s Seafood” kiosk at the harbour for a delicacy he thinks will delight us.

He’s right,  Himself and our friend Velvetinenut don’t need asking twice when it comes to partaking of seafood.

I’m allergic to most shell fish, so stick to the smoked mullet which is divine.

You take a tiny sliver, intending to eat it slowly, savour it and  “save some for later” but one tiny sliver becomes another and another and before you know it you are looking at the bottom of an empty plastic container wondering where the contents managed to disappear to so fast and ruing the fact that the container wasn’t bigger.

This place is clearly poplar too, there’s a constant queue which is always a good sign of an excellent food establishment.

It’s so good that we’ve already decided that if by any chance we can pop back in when we are back this way later to go back through the channel tunnel on the homeward journey, that we will definitely try and do so. The day is fabulous, the company of our local Folkstone friends and Velvetine is excellent and the food is delicious… what more to enjoy in life do you need?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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