When searching for ingredients during your Dorset getaway you may not think of spice but from hand harvested sea salt to the Dorset Naga chilli pepper, Dorset has a wide range of spices, herbs and oils available to spice up your life.
If there is one iconic image of Dorset it’s that of the picturesque Jurassic coast, miles of beautiful beaches, breath taking sea views and exhilarating costal walks, but beneath the waves lies a culinary treasure ready to uplift your pallet and raise your cooking game. Sea salt has been harvested from the natural salt pans of Portland since prehistoric times, when it would have been collected from the shores as a product of the evaporation of sea water. To this day sea salt is hand harvested from the Dorset coast, the unique geology of the Jurassic coast gives Dorset sea salt a distinct flavour profile specific to the region, 30% more flavourful than your standard sea salt also means more punch for your pound.Read More...
When picturing local Dorset faire, you may be thinking more of the sweet cakes and treats synonymous with costal afternoon teas, but the mild climate of Dorset is not only great for building your tan, it’s also an ideal environment for growing niche crops such as chilli peppers, watercress and wasabi. Watercress has been grown in the natural spring waters of Dorset for over 200 years, grown not only for its distinctive peppery taste but it’s health attributes. Heralded as the original superfood, watercress has been shown to help lower blood pressure, fight breast and colon cancer and even slow skin aging! This peppery wonder-leaf is used by the top restaurants all over Dorset as well as being available for you to buy to uplift your own dishes. Alongside watercress a more recent arrival to the Dorset spice scene is wasabi. Grown in abandoned watercress beds, growers soon found that the Dorset climate was ideal for growing this sought-after crop. Dorset wasabi is now used by some of the top chefs in the country both for traditional Asian dishes and to complement a wide variety of dishes.
No spice pantry is complete without fiery chillies and in Dorset you can discover a range of chillies and sweet peppers to liven up any dish. From the ‘Dorset Naga’, one of the hottest chillies in the world, to the ubiquitous jalapeno, Dorset offers an array of chillies both to buy and grow in your own garden or windowsill.
When looking to build your spice rack Dorset has a wide range of herbs and spices on offer. Herbs grown in Dorset are used not only for culinary purposes but also for herbal remedies, creams and oils to name just a few skin saving options available. If you prefer your herbs more culinary than holistic you can find a wide array of options from the traditional lavender, lemon balm and sage through to Sri Lankan spice mixes, curry plants and decadent saffron.
So, if you’re looking to add a little punch to your pantry then look no further than the glorious Dorset gourmet scene.