19 August 2016 By Tash Ellens
Jack pointed out several unusual herbs in the bed that we hadn't come across before, including Oyster leaf. The Oyster leaf (Mertensia maritima) is often grown in the wild along the coasts of Scotland and Shetland, it is similar in appearance to a succulent plant and has thick leaves that are a pale turquoise and juicy in texture The Pig use it as garnish on fish dishes.
Jack's evil side sparked through a little when he told us about the Malabar Spinach climbing around the archway that leads into the poly-tunnel. The Malabar Spinach produces berries which almost stain your mouth with a dark purple colour, you better watch out for these on your plate, he thought they'd be great hidden amongst leaves!
We finished with a visit to their greenhouse, filled with chillies and peppers. We tried the Bellaforma chilli and the Crisp Apple chilli, both full of flavour and almost no heat. Another chilli that caught our eye was the 'Lemon Drop' chilli, it has a 56,000 Scoville rating! Although hot they have a real zesty flavour and its colour process is impressive, it starts off green and turns a vibrant yellow from tip to top.
Each Pig Hotel has their own beautifully kept kitchen garden, with an Alitex greenhouse in Brockenhurst, Dorset and soon Bath. We definitely recommend a visit, especially to try their daily changing menus and flavoursome home grown produce.