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May is Here on the Mull Croft



Thanks to the vociferous support of our magic friends and clientele, we are chuffed to announce that Birlinn Books has just released a large paperback edition of the Ninth Wave book The Ninth Wave: Love and Food on the Isle of Mull. It can be found for sale at Birlinn Books, Amazon, many bookstores and will also be available in the restaurant. It is the story of a Canadian Chef, a rugged Scottish fisherman and their mind-boggling adventure of creating an award-wining restaurant on the wild Isle of Mull.

Late April saw the return of our visitors which was very sedate and well-mannered down at this end of the island. Many food businesses, and the campsite on Ross of Mull are not opening until June there is a further easing of restrictions involving closing times and other issues.

Excitements…an undisclosed film crew will be capturing Jonny and I in action for an appearance in a tv program, the entrance hand railing has been replaced, kimchi has been jarred and we’ve added a flower and blond wig to the disabled vehicle space symbol in our carpark.

In the kitchen…

Edible begonias- tweaks are being made to my recipe for a delicious soft cheese made from the sap of edible begonias. I originally found mention of it in a centuries-old text extolling the virtues of ancient Chinese recipes. I have made squid ink pasta ravioli filled with this cheese and it was delightfully tangy and very more-ish.

I’ve also been experimenting with peppers: Vietnamese black, long pepper, pink, Madagascan wild, sechuan, and chipotle. I recently bought 2 more sechuan pepper plants. I gave one to Monica Galetti after the filming of MasterChef the Professionals, which was very handy, as I wouldn’t have to drag it the whole 550 miles back to Mull. One of the most interesting peppers in long pepper.

For thousands of years long pepper (Piper longum) from India, was the favoured choice for adding spice to dishes. Long pepper is long and shaped like a small spindly pinecone. It has a flavour quite like black pepper but with sweeter notes, a zesty tang and not so much heat. Due to the challenge of growing the plant outside its native home, long pepper eventually became largely replaced by black pepper. Its Sanskrit name, pippali, is the origin of the word pepper.

Sous chef G. Wimpenny and I have been bandying about ideas for an around the world tasting lunch event for this summer. It will involve many an odd, foraged ingredient and visits to some countries less-known on the culinary map. Think Madagascar, Iceland, Costa Rico, Mauritius, Mali and more….The exact date for the event will be posted in our newsletter and it will be on the Events page of the Mull and Iona Food Trail website.

I don’t know if it’s staycation mania or what, but I have never seen our table reservations fill up so quickly as this year! Get you skates on and your phone out if you’ve got your heart set on eating here this season my lovelies!

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