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smoked woodlice in honey

One I picked up in the outback - you know, between Camborne and Redruth.

A handful of woodlice per person. Smoke well - marihuana smoke gives a nice studenty flavour - then cover with honey and serve on a nest of fresh dock leaves.

This dish makes an ideal accompaniment - in season - to cabbage white caterpillar sandwiches (made with wholemeal bread, of course).

Oh - I've just realised that the clock on the computer must have reset itself. It reads April 1st.
 

Pete Thomas

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Oh - I've just realised that the clock on the computer must have reset itself. It reads April 1st.

I wopuldn't be so sure. If woodlice were a bit fatter, I would certainly be tempted to eat them. As it is they don't seem to have much meat.
 

llamedos

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Slight puzzlement here - I am familiar with the smoking process applied to fish but am unsure whether or not it is necessary to fillet the woodlice before smoking (like cod or haddock) or remove the skeleton afterwards (like herrings). Also is it advisable to soak them in brine prior to smoking? I am also aware that oak chippings is the fuel source of preference for the best flavoured kippers - perhaps shredded clarinet wood could produce a superior flavour.

Is this product farmed in Cornwall and sold by mail order or is it down to the consumer to harvest a nearby crop themselves?
 

thesaxman71

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i fear you are copying my take on preparing lavish recipes, for that i now seek a law suit and will see you in court! ;-)
 

kernewegor

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Slight puzzlement here - I am familiar with the smoking process applied to fish but am unsure whether or not it is necessary to fillet the woodlice before smoking (like cod or haddock) or remove the skeleton afterwards (like herrings). Also is it advisable to soak them in brine prior to smoking? I am also aware that oak chippings is the fuel source of preference for the best flavoured kippers - perhaps shredded clarinet wood could produce a superior flavour.

Is this product farmed in Cornwall and sold by mail order or is it down to the consumer to harvest a nearby crop themselves?

Genuine Cornish woodlice (dialect "griggs" derived from Cornish ""gwragh" - old woman, witch, wrasse (the fish) or woodlouse) are now only available by mail order outside the Duchy, I'm afraid. It's the problem of export licences, you see. A quota was set when it was recognised that the viability of the breeding population was being threatened by over exploitation.

Since then visitors have been apprehended on occasion attempting to smuggle them out (dirty underwear among their holiday luggage being a favourite hiding place, apparently). The Stannary Courts have always treated this as a serious crime with punishments commensurate with the perceived threat to the woodlice population (and, naturally and by extension, the entire eco-system).

Those found guilty usually find themselves languishing for months if not years in the Stannary Gaol in Lostwithiel on a diet of Ginster's so-called pasties (this and the export and visitor trade being the only way the brand survives, no native being able to stomach them).

I understand that this is currently being challenged in the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that it constitutes "unusual and degrading punishment". I also understand that the Stannary boys have mounted a defence based on the argument that visitors to Cornwall may or may not be actually human, citing behaviour of certain rich persons (including friends of the Royal family and members of the Bullingdon Club) disporting themselves with unseemly and antisocial behaviour in the vicinity of Rock, near Wadebridge.

The trial is being followed with avidity throughout the length (and also, by tradition, the breadth) of the Duchy. Rumour has it that the special yeast used by Skinners Brewery in the production of Betty Stogs is also about to be put on the protected list. The price of hammers has rocketed as builders anticipate the need of beard-washing stations on all roads out of Cornwall.

Rumour also has it that the Westminster regime is about to mount a challenge based on restraint of trade. Nothing worries the Stannary boys, though - they know someone in Brussells and the Hague and reckon that it will be laughed out of court.

In answer to your other points - boning or filetting is not required, the crunchiness being thought of as part of the charm of the dish. Soaking may be done, Sharp's Doom Bar being popular. Clarinet wood is (like the double negative) definitely a no-no. The preferred timber is pitch pine recycled from old Medhodist pews and, for those who like the thrill of the forbidden, wood from undeconsecrated pews - smuggling them out of chapel during a service adding a certain je ne sais quois to the whole experience.
 
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kernewegor

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Cornwall must be a tough place.
Luckily elsewhere in Europe there are more civilized foods.

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

Mmmmm - delicious!

A certain similarity in philosophies of cuisine (if not in actual detail) my be the result of the considerable export trade of pilchards to Italy which Cornwall had in the nineteenth and early twentieth century which arguably lead to exchanges of ideas and approaches to matters gustational. See Star-Gazey Pie, for example.

Also, try turning a map of Italy through sixty or seventy degrees clockwise - interesting, no? The Lleyn peninsula in north Wales is also worth looking at...
 
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aldevis

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Curious, indeed!

I have often wondered if there was an Italian equivelant to the Mevagissey gastronomic tour de force, Star Gazey Pie.

Quite a few, usually involving fat pork parts, mostly in the north.
One of the most challenging things I had, was stewed wild boar in chocolate (original renaissance recipe).
 

kernewegor

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Quite a few, usually involving fat pork parts, mostly in the north.
One of the most challenging things I had, was stewed wild boar in chocolate (original renaissance recipe).

I almost ate road-kill badger once - the pal who was driving and spotted it on the way to a boatyard said, when it was too late to turn back, that he should have picked it up. I dare say if he had we would have eaten it.

All this is in the past - I've been vegetarian for decades. Chanterelles, horse mushrooms, chicken of the woods, shaggy ink caps, ceps, beefsteak fungus and various bean-based concoctions are now the nearest I get to meat.
 

llamedos

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All this gastronomic extravaganza must have passed me by on my one foray into the Duchy - furthermore, I confess to a slight feeling of nausea on the contemplation of some of these delights to the extent that I am tempted to embrace our accepted Northern diet (north of The Wash, that is) of cowheels and tripe washed down with Masham-water, better known as Theakstone's Old Peculier.

The established activities of the Stannary are surely intended to discourage the influx of tourists (? do grockles venture so far west?) - for propaganda purposes they have despatched Ginsters products beyond the Tamar and I have even seen them offered for sale in our local hospital shop. Is this telling me something?

Many thanks to all for the enlightenment on matters gastronomique. I am now going to sit quietly in a corner with my bucket.

Dave
 

kernewegor

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Actually Ginsters used, in the dim and distant past, to produce quite reasonable pasties. The rot set in when Samworth Brothers - couple of rich blow-ins - took it over. Since when only those who know no better eat them.

I spoke to one poor soul who worked there. It seems - in addition to having developed their own version of what they think a pasty should be like - that they quite happily allow supermarkets to tell them how to make them. One supermarket insisted that all the filling was cooked first and then put in the pastry and baked!

There may well be a version of the Tesco Pasty Song on Youtube which will probably have you you ROFLing.

Hospital shop? It must be a government ploy to free up hospital beds!

Shop pasties are variable - some ought never to be allowed, some are almost as good as I can make myself!

Theakstone's Old Peculier - good stuff - I've had a few of those in my day. My favourite is Skinner's Betty Stogs - if you haven't yet sampled it think of Old Speckled Hen, but even nicer I think. Skinners of Truro do a range of good beers. The boss - a Channel Islander - used to run the Old Ale House in Truro. His son is a demon surfin' dood, which may have been the inspiration behind the label on their St Piran Ale. All their range of beers uses witty cartoons by Nick Beringer which makes the bottles collectors items for the artwork alone!
 
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aquatic

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When I left the army I went and lived in Cornwall for a few years, what some of the tourist shops did to the Cornish pasty was bordering on criminal. I lived in Near Bude and there was no such thing as a decent pasty or decent fish and chips. There was a couple of reasonable Chinese take always though.
Wood lice taste like shrimps, don't over cook them.
 

kernewegor

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cocks hill perranporth KERNOW
When I left the army I went and lived in Cornwall for a few years, what some of the tourist shops did to the Cornish pasty was bordering on criminal. I lived in Near Bude and there was no such thing as a decent pasty or decent fish and chips. There was a couple of reasonable Chinese take always though.
Wood lice taste like shrimps, don't over cook them.

Yes, some places are a desert for pasties and chips. The problem is if one rubbish shop sets up they can still take enough trade to make it difficult to set up in competition in a small town or village - until enough people realise the difference.

Is there a vegetarian version of the Cumberland sausage? If so, is it any good?
 

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