Image for Letter A

A is for apple – one of the first things we learn as children when trying to remember the alphabet!

For me apples mean tasty snacks.  I prefer crisp sharp apples such as Jonogold and Braeburn, but many like the traditional English varieties like Cox’s and Granny Smiths.

For cooking I always use Bramleys.  They have a sharp flavour and remain in pieces during cooking instead of mashing to a pulp as some other varieties do.

A great favourite for desserts is baked apple.  Core a Bramley apple for each person and stand them on a baking sheet.  Fill the cavity with sugar and bake in the oven until the sugar caramelises and the apple is soft.  It is very good served with cream or even natural yoghurt.

Also under the letter ‘A’ are artichokes.  Globe artichokes are a thistle found in North Africa which we now grow as a vegetable.  Another ‘A’ is Agnes Sorel, a chicken based soup named after the mistress of Charles VII of France.  The ingredients included chicken pieces and chicken stock, cream, mushrooms, ox tongue, and little floating pastry tarts stuffed with chicken mousse, ox tongue cubes and mushrooms.

Another ‘A’ is asparagus, part of the lily family.  See my video HERE for a great asparagus starter.

Other ‘A’s’ not immediately thought of when considering food and eating are:

  • alligators, which are eaten in North and South America;
  • acacia, a flower that is often used in France and Italy for making fritters;
  • armadillo, the three banded version is edible; and finally
  • arrowhead, which is a Chinese water-plant used in salads that has leaves shaped like arrow heads!

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