Fine Food – Christmas alternatives
The yam is a staple food in many tropical countries, particularly in Africa, the Caribbean and the South Pacific. Yams have brown tough skins and the flesh can vary in colour – anything from white to yellow to purple – depending on the variety.
Jerusalem artichokes are not to be confused with globe artichokes. Jerusalem artichokes belong to the sunflower family; it is the plant’s small knobbly underground tubers that are eaten. These sweetly succulent tubers are compatible with many flavourings - they're often served in soups or as side dishes.
Wild ducks have less fat than their farmed counterparts they will roast more quickly and care needs to be taken to prevent them from drying out.
Horseradish is a member of the mustard family and it's the root of the plant that's used in cookery. The root, which is similar in appearance to a parsnip, releases a distinctive aroma when bruised or cut and has a very hot, peppery flavour that is more powerful than mustard. Once peeled, it can be grated and mixed with cream and other ingredients to make a hot-flavoured sauce to accompany roast beef or fish such as trout.
One of the lesser known root vegetables, salsify is also known as oyster plant because it tastes slightly of oysters. It has a beige-white skin and looks similar to a long carrot in shape.
The pomegranate is a round fruit about the size of a large orange with thick leathery skin that encases juicy, pale-pink or deep-crimson pulpy seeds, held in place by a bitter-tasting, creamy-yellow membrane. Pomegranates themselves can vary in colour from deep red to yellow flushed with pink.