About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Foraged Food Friday: Sorrel

I'm cheating a bit today, because I'm not sure I've actually eaten sorrel this week, but I have been harvesting it for a while. This is a common herb that grows abundantly in and around my garden. It grows amongst grass, which I failed to cut back in the autumn, so the little sorrel leaves are struggling to find their way through mounds of dry grass.

Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)

These leaves have a sharp, lemony flavour, caused not by citric acid as the taste suggests, nor acetic acid, as the Latin name implies, but oxalic acid, as found in rhubarb. This can contribute to kidney stones, but as it is apparently also present in rather a long list of healthy foods, it's probably not worth avoiding sorrel for the sake of oxalic acid. To quote somebody or other, No one ever died of an overdose of rhubarb crumble.

A few sorrel leaves make a pleasant addition to a salad, and can be added to sauces and suchlike in place of lemon juice, though you do have to use a fair bit of it. One unfortunate feature is that as soon as it gets hot, the colour changes from bright green to a dull and unappealing khaki. It still tastes good, though.

Also harvesting this week:
leek (the last one)
ground elder

Also eating:
evening primrose roots
peas (the last from the garden last summer, which were only fit for soup, so have been in the freezer for some time)

Also drinking:
sloe wine
rhubarb cordial

Foraged food challenge summary page here.


  1. Try sorrel soup - recipe as nettle or watercress soup. Delicious. Looking forward to growing it or finding it again once we move to our country hideaway! Enjoying the foraging challenge.

    1. That sounds nice. I'll try it when there's more available.
      Cheers :-)

  2. Oh Rachel I'm laughing because (1) when does it get hot in Wales? lol and (2) your harvesting list sounds so pitiful! I'm having visions of you starving, with just one leek and a few ground elder and sorrel leaves to go around.... :-)))

    1. Haha, no we're not exactly living off the land at the moment. Thank goodness we don't actually have to!

      We definitely have had some hot weather since we moved here. I'm struggling to remember when, though...

    2. I was just looking back over some old blog posts (sad, aren't I?) and spotted a little misunderstanding, which I shall hasten to correct, less than nine months after it occurred!

      When I said that sorrel changes colour "as soon as it gets hot," I didn't mean when the weather changes (we had a glorious summer this year - yes, really - and the sorrel stayed green all year), I meant when you cook it. As soon as it hits the pan, the vibrant green disappears.

      There. That's cleared that up.


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