It's National Watercress Week

  Graham. 14:12 16 May 07
  €dstowe 14:25 16 May 07

It's also National Tomato Week.

click here

Pity they can't get as much flavour back into tomatoes as there is in watercress.

  Brumas 22:32 16 May 07

Without sounding smug, I grow my own and it is damn good too!

  spuds 23:09 16 May 07

I remember years ago, just outside the village of Croxton Kerrial in Leicestershire, there was (possibly still is) a fresh water spring beside the main road. Water cress use to be in abundance, and it was delicious, always worth a break stop.

  Graham. 23:31 16 May 07

Blackpool used to be famous for tomatoes. Haven't seen any for yonks.

  Forum Editor 23:53 16 May 07

You need to be careful.

Watercress is a common source of the liver fluke parasite for humans. The fluke has a complex life cycle that involves water snails, and commercial growers take steps to ensure there's no snail contamination of their crop. The same can't always be said for watercress that grows in the wild, or that which is cultivated by amateur growers.

  €dstowe 07:59 17 May 07

I tried growing American Land Cress a couple of years ago. It tasted nice but it wasn't very prolific so I didn't bother again.

Something that tastes good, is expensive to buy and is easy to grow is Rocket (Roquette - and various other spellings).

  Brumas 22:25 17 May 07

Thanks for the warning. I generally examine the watercress, after it has steeped in salty water, minutely after thoroughly washing/agitating it , I then rinse it and examine it again.

  Forum Editor 22:41 17 May 07

That's good practice.

It's wild watercress that is the danger, as the water in which it grows may come from streams that are contaminated with sheep faeces. Commercial growers work to a strict code of practice which lays down strict rules about water sources. It's therefore safe to eat watercress that has been grown commercially.

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