‘Lush’ – the Swansea terroir?

Bottled Meadowsweet Cordial

Meadowsweet cordial in two bottles of differently coloured glass. Photo: Mr Edible.

In a blog whose primary subject is ingredients (over either recipes or restaurants) it was good to see a favourite one blossoming, such as meadowsweet  has done recently.  Although it’s pointless to emulate at home the micro-control of Michelin, or incipient Michelin, starred restaurants its popularity has prompted us to use meadowsweet again this year.  Meadowsweet cordial on a sweetened raw berry mixture was a great success (due credit to Professor Edible), a little in a summer pudding is good too.

This eatweeds recipe was quickly repeated

http://www.eatweeds.co.uk/meadowsweet-vanilla-panna-cotta

The musky, faintly almond flavour is not the whole secret of its success.  After consuming the second batch of pannacotta it struck me that the element that meadowsweet cordial seems to add is lusciousness – appropriate for this region, I will let others explain:

A mixture of the words cowin’ and lush, this is a South Wales word, largely used in Swansea. It is used to describe  something that is particularly amazing or attractive. Urban dictionary

Maybe we have the makings of a Swansea terroir; the combination of climate, geology and geography that is reflected in its natural produce (primarily vines, I have spotted at least one domestic vineyard on Gower but Cotes du Parc le Breos might be a little way off yet).  If such a concept really exists, and if Swansea can be said to have one, ‘lush’ or lusciousness a good contender – Atlantic rain, gushing streams, swollen rivers, verdant valleys and boggy uplands.  Is all this ‘expressed’ in the damp-loving meadowsweet?  This may be something of a regional theme as the surrounding sea gives us fish and seafood which at their best have that quality – the sewin from rivers, the viridian, aromatic wild garlic that fills the woodland valleys in spring.   And the boggy uplands?  This one’s not so easy but the tiny bilberries en masse are delicious, making a juicy pie or crumble. A theme (or, in the blogosphere, a keyword) is born.

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