Ash – Fraxinus excelsior

Ash is the third commonest tree species in Britain and is sometimes the dominant tree in a wood. It is found across Europe from the Arctic Circle to Turkey. This species is currently affected by a disease called ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea).

Ash Key Pickle

Ash key pickled

Pickled Ash keys

Here’s a fresh idea for pickling the abundant Ash keys. They are perfect to collect in the spring when they are only just out. Ash is a member of the Olive family and the pickled keys can be eaten after a few months of being pickled.

Here’s how to do it:

Collect young fresh fruit ‘keys’. Boil in an pan for 5 mins, drain the water then repeat with with fresh water for 5 mins. Allow to cool. You need enough for the jar say a pint of keys.
To this you add the vinegar solution.
To make this bring to a gentle boil for 5 mins a pint of vinegar, 12 cloves, 12 peppercorns, 1 cinnamon stick, pinch salt, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 30ml water and any other spice you feel lie adding.
Allow to cool then store in the dark for 3 months

Did you know

The wood is both strong and flexible. In the past it was used by the Anglo-Saxons for their spears and shield-handles. More recently other uses include tool handles, furniture, sports equipment, walking sticks, tent pegs, oars, gates, wheel rims, and even aircraft wings on the De Havilland Mosquito which flew in World War II.

In Scandinavian myths the ash tree was known as yggdrasil, the ‘Tree of the World’ and the ’Tree of Rebirth and Healing’ . In Britain, the ash was also regarded as a healing tree. In the past a naked child was passed through the split trunk of an ash in a ritual to cure a broken limb or rickets.

Back to food for free

Comments are closed.