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Sudeley Castle features on Channel 4’s River Cottage to the Core

River Cottage at Sudeley Castle

Wednesday’s episode of the new television series River Cottage To The Core features Sudeley Castle’s remarkable mulberry tree. River Cottage Group Head Chef, Gillon Meller, visits Sudeley to discover its secrets from senior gardener Jon Hodder, before picking the delectable mulberry fruit and cooking it in the Castle kitchen.

River Cottage to the Core, with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his team, features a campaign to change how we use fruit: engaging children in growing fruit trees and persuading us to try fruit alternatives in familiar dishes.
Sudeley’s mulberry tree is an impressive sight, with its enormous branches extending over a large part of the Mulberry Garden. The Victorian chatelaine of Sudeley, Emma Dent, planted it in the 1850s when there was a fashion for the tree in the gardens of stately homes. The juicy, dark fruit look a little like large blackberries or raspberries and were used for jams.
The mulberry held an added significance for Emma when it became the resting place of her beloved pet dogs. In her diary for November 20th 1879 she wrote,
"Our poor Juno was put out of her misery and pain - buried under the mulberry tree by the dungeon tower which Marianne and I planted nearly 20 years ago!"
Gillon Meller, River Cottage Group Head Chef, said, “Not only did I get to see the beautiful Sudeley Castle on a fine summer’s day, but my eyes were opened to the quite amazing mulberry fruit. I’d only eaten mulberries as a child so I was excited to see sitting slap bang in the middle of the Castle grounds the most wonderful mulberry tree ever. The fruit was ripe, sweet and plentiful and all that I didn't eat raw went in to my pretty special Mulberry Fumble. Cooking this fruity pudding in the Castle kitchen was a real treat. I was able to keep the film crew at bay long enough for the visitors at Sudeley to sample my wares, which went down quite well, I hope!”

Sudeley’s senior gardener, Jon Hodder said, “It was a pleasure to show the River Cottage team around our famous gardens and to highlight an overlooked species – the mulberry – which has so much to recommend it.  Much of the planting at Sudeley was for consumption, as can be seen in our Tudor Physic Garden and the Herbal Healing Walk, so it is good to see River Cottage encouraging viewers to grow fruit and of course, eat it!”

Riverside Cottage to the Core can be seen on Channel 4 at 8pm on Wednesday 30th October 2013.

Explore Gloucestershire
26 October 2013

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