Series in which well-known chefs popularise traditional British produce. Gary Rhodes wants us to appreciate the British tomato and Angela Hartnett campaigns for crab.
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-Some of the best British produce is under threat.
-At the mercy of foreign invaders.
-And food fashion.
-Produce around for centuries.
-Could die out within a generation.
-So together we're on a mission.
-To save it!
We'll tell you how to find it, grow it and cook it.
-And put sensational British produce.
-Back on the food map.
My name is Gary Rhodes and I'm passionate about a fruit that is so often misunderstood
and not recognised as one of our great British ingredients - the British tomato.
Now there's no denying we love tomatoes. We buy 500,000 tons of them every year,
but 70% of these are shipped in from as far as Israel and Morocco,
leaving the British tomato grower in the cold.
I fell in love with tomatoes as a little boy at the corner shop, where it was all British tomatoes.
That was all we had. There were no super airliners flying them in.
They were true home-grown, soft, they were ready to eat.
'I'm going to try to revive the fate of the great British tomato.
'I'll be meeting a grower who's turning waste into watts.'
Not just British. This is a true green tomato.
'Rediscovering the incredible shapes and sizes we could be tucking into.'
-We grow 63 varieties.
-Some of the older ones are 100 years old.
'And what better way to honour the good old British tom than a three-course menu
'with a show-stopping tomato pudding.' Oh, look at that.
It's really quite odd. All I'm eating here is sweet tomato.
'In the UK, this juicy little fruit has been demoted to an everyday ingredient,
'available 365 days a year.'
I couldn't tell you their season.
I buy tomatoes all year round.
Out of season, you've got no choice. You've got to buy Spanish-grown or Dutch-grown.
We just put them in the trolley. We don't mind where they come from. As long as they're tasty.
'Only 30% of the tomatoes we eat are home-grown, a fact that sadly says it all.
'I've travelled to Barnham, home of one of our largest tomato growers,
'to find out where we're going wrong.'
From the general public's point of view, a tomato is a tomato.
It's deep red, it maybe has a little bit of different texture or shape or size about it,
but really where it's from does that bother our public?
I hope so, because we're very proud of the product that we grow as British growers.
A lot of the imported tomatoes are a little bit cheaper.
-How are we going to counter that?
-We've got to get the consumer to recognise the investment that goes in
to make British tomatoes the best.
Literally, it's millions of pounds that are invested before the first tomato is even picked.
We've got to make sure the consumer recognises what British represents.
It's fresh. It can be picked within 24, 48 hours and be on your plate. That is fantastic.
Are we buying because of some kind of shelf-life here? Because imported last an extra week or more?
It should be the other way round.
If product is travelling from Spain, from Italy, the Canaries and takes four, six, seven, eight days,
it has less of a shelf life. Buying British guarantees a better shelf life.
It can be picked, packed, in the store within 24 hours.
I want to know how we can take all of this, show it off and sell it.
Tomato production actually starts towards the end of February.
And we finish at the end of October, so it is a long season.
But May is a key time for us.
We actually have British Tomato Week which kicks off in May every single year.
It's when volumes are at their highest. If we get supermarket support to push that even more,
it'll be a huge benefit for us, the consumer and the supermarkets.
I'll only buy tomatoes during that British season.
This is the message I want to get across.
'We need to pay a little bit extra for a premium ingredient
'and savour British tomatoes when they're at their best.'
Now you've seen where they're from, I want to show you what we can do.
It's incredible. Here I am making an Italian dish
to show off the great British tomato, but I think the British can do just as well, if not better.
'My version uses beautifully sweet British plum tomatoes and I'm oven-roasting them
'to intensify their already amazing flavour.'
Let's take a bowl. There's one or two flavours I want to add to it.
'First, thyme - two or three little sprigs.' It's there to enhance, to add something.
A hint of garlic.
Just lightly press these on the board.
And they become that little bit easier to peel.
'Use as much or as little as you like.'
There's plenty in there.
Now, other things to add: some icing sugar here.
'A generous pinch to bring out the tomatoes' natural sweetness.'
Some sea salt.
A twist of black pepper.
And I'm going to add just a touch of olive oil. This is extra virgin.
It adds quite a lot to this dish.
That's how simple this dish is.
'These fragrant little toms will be the star of my salad.
'I just need to pop them into a low oven for 20 minutes.'
So while they're cooking, I want to make a dressing also using the tomatoes.
These look fabulous here. Really rich, beautiful to eat.
And all I want to do is literally chop them up, quarter them roughly like this.
This is what I love about really good cooking. It can be so simple.
There's so much intense flavour here. It needs very little. That's the beauty of British ingredients,
particularly these tomatoes. 'All I'm going to do is get them in a blender
'with a couple of their sun-dried cousins for added depth.
'Give them a blitz.
'And push them through a sieve so I'm left with a smooth, rich tomato puree.'
Look at that.
A couple of other bits and pieces to add - English mustard is nice,
but a little bit too harsh for the tomato. I'm going for Dijon, which still gives strength of flavour,
but not too strong or powerful.
'Then a couple of teaspoons of red wine vinegar,
'a dash of sugar,
'a pinch of salt, then pepper
'and some extra virgin olive oil.'
I'm also going to add to it a little touch of sesame oil. Not essential,
but it does add that nutty bite.
'And, finally, the tomato puree.
'20 minutes later and our oven-roasted tomatoes are ready.'
There we are. That has such a great flavour and all we've done is warm them.
'What they need now is a bed of creamy British mozzarella,
'a drizzle of the nutty tomato dressing,
'a squirt of fragrant basil oil
'and a scattering of baby basil leaves.' That's it. Very simple.
Very flavoursome. That is a British tomato and mozzarella salad.
'I'm on a journey to rediscover the virtues of the British tomato,
'an ingredient I should find here.'
This is New Covent Garden Market where they turn over £11 million of fruit and veg every week.
'With over 200 wholesalers supplying Michelin-starred restaurants to local cafes
'it's the perfect place to find out why we're not growing British.'
This is more than a surprise. You don't expect to see this from home-grown, do you?
It's just a wonderful collection. It's incredible. As far as I'm concerned, if I'm looking at that,
-I have just bought these from a Sicilian market.
-It has that kind of shape about it, but these are from our own soils.
'Not known for our good weather, we have to grow our tomatoes in greenhouses
'that require heat and irrigation, making them more expensive.'
What can we do to really help and support the British grower?
If you went back 10 or 15 years ago, there was a lot of small, independent growers on the south coast, all over.
Unfortunately, the price just hasn't gone up. We have all the cheaper imports from primarily Holland
and they seem to get cheaper every year and the small independent English grower can't keep up.
For me it's like an investment. What it's going to supply you with some of your greatest culinary memories.
Just those extra few pennies to buy ingredients like this. This is a chef's dream.
'But a dearer price tag isn't the only side effect to greenhouse growing.
'The heat needed costs the environment, too,
'resulting in British tomatoes having a higher carbon footprint,
'a problem John and Caroline Jones are tackling head-on at their farm in Hertfordshire.'
-What is it like being a British tomato grower?
-It's not easy.
Production costs are going up, supermarkets in general are trying to squeeze the price,
these structures you see behind, we have to heat these the whole long season, even in the summer.
-These are heated throughout the year?
-In the summer as well.
We need a slight amount of heat going through the pipes.
-But this must be very costly.
-It is. Very.
'But they've found a revolutionary way to reduce their costs and their carbon footprint
'and it could change the fate of the British tomato industry.'
I didn't expect to see this!
That is incredible.
-So this is what is creating your electricity?
-This is the waste vegetables
that powers our turbines.
I am in a state of shock. I cannot believe it. There are so many.
All these great flavours sitting here. And it just goes to show how much wastage there is
-with great food.
-There is, but we're putting it to very good use.
'It's a unique system that converts rotting fruit and veg from markets like Spitalfields
'into green electricity to heat their greenhouses. And what's even more incredible
'is they did it all themselves.'
-It sounds so simple. Is it that easy?
It's been a real trial and tribulation over the last 5 years. We're nearly there now.
We are making methane gas and generating electric and heating our nursery,
but there's been several divorces on the way!
'All this for the humble British tomato. And to think everything from the hot water
'to the CO2 pumped in to enrich the atmosphere has come from that waste fruit and veg.'
And here is the end result. Beautiful British tomatoes.
-Not just a British tomato. This is a true green tomato.
-It could be said.
-Stunning. Look at the richness and the colour on that.
-We've done everything we can
-to reduce our carbon footprint to a minimum.
It's sweet, it's wonderful. Look at all those rich juices.
And the colour of the flesh is stunning.
That is where we win over an imported tomato.
We can allow these to stay on the plant until we get that fantastic red colour and all its flavour,
-whereas imports are picked so far in advance, they're green...
-Days and weeks in advance.
So it's very hard, it doesn't develop that full richness. But that's what I'm tasting here.
'What an inspirational couple. They really are setting an example to the rest of the industry
'and I can't wait to show off their produce in the Revival kitchen.'
So for my second recipe,
I've chosen, of course, John and Caroline's lovely, rich, sweet tomatoes.
And to go with them, an equally sweet fish - salmon. Absolutely delicious.
'These tomatoes are so delicious, they hardly need any cooking.
'All I've done is blanch them in hot water to remove the skin and seeds.'
That's the beauty I found with John and Caroline's tomatoes.
Even in its totally raw state, with skin and seeds, it was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.
Now you'll notice I'm being quite generous with these.
If you've got something as tasty as this, enjoy it.
'I'm going to warm them through with a handful of juicy grey shrimps and then plenty of chopped herbs,
'added at the end, so they keep their exquisite taste and texture. With a beautiful fillet of salmon.'
Easy to cook, only takes minutes. That's the great thing with this dish. It's very quick to cook.
'If you want to cook it perfectly every time, dust the fish with flour to prevent it from sticking
'and resist the temptation to season until halfway through.'
If you start throwing salt in now, it can draw some juices from it.
Then it begins to stew in the pan rather than fry.
'I'm serving spinach with it, simply thrown in the pan with a knob of butter.'
These are actually going to steam.
'As soon as the salmon starts to turn pink, it's safe to season it.'
A touch of table salt is all I'm using here. Again, that twist of pepper on top.
So the spinach is cooked. Let's get rid of that pan. Let's look at the salmon now.
You can see how far that line has come up the side of the fish, telling me it's almost ready.
'All I need to do now is add a knob of butter and a squeeze of lemon juice to moisten the fish.
'And then heat up the little grey shrimps.'
What you don't want to do is fry them. Fry them and they toughen. That's not what we're after.
Next our tomatoes. Let's throw some nice tomatoes in there so they can warm as well.
Plenty of them.
'And, lastly, a handful of chopped herbs for flavour and colour. I'm using chervil, tarragon and chives.
'And it's as simple as that.'
Look at the fish. You can still see how soft that is.
Still slightly pink in the centre which means it's retained lovely juices, maximum flavour
and that lovely sweetness which is going to accompany the wonderful, wonderful tomatoes.
'Just pop the fish on a bed of spinach.
'And spoon on the warm tomato and shrimp.'
Very simple dish, but it holds so much sort of character and flavour.
The strength of tomato is really quite phenomenal. You can almost smell the sweetness.
Right. Let's tuck in.
Now you can still see... What did I say? That little pink left in the salmon itself.
Wonderful and moist.
That holds quite a melting experience. The softness of the fish,
the gentle little bite of the lovely shrimp,
but the real maximum flavour is found from the British tomato.
'Our love affair with tomatoes has always been about much more than just eating them,
'something I'm keen to explore further at Audley End Organic Kitchen Garden in Essex
'where they keep the Victorian appetite for variety alive.'
The Victorians had a strange attitude towards tomatoes. They were newish.
They grew them, but wouldn't eat them. They believed them poisonous.
-Yeah. They grew them as ornamentals and would show them off to their friends.
Somehow they crossed over and began eating them.
'And thanks to their experimentation, a wealth of British varieties were born,
'some resurrected here.'
-We grow 63 varieties of tomato.
-Oh, my goodness, me!
-Like a food shop.
-This is phenomenal! Are these all British?
-The majority are.
-There are one or two Americans, but most of them are British.
-How old are these?
Some are almost 100 years old.
'It's taken Mike over a decade of careful growing to bring these Victorian varieties back to life
'and he's done it with the help of the Heritage Seed Library, a charity conserving rare seeds.'
-A classic is Auntie Madge's.
-Oh, the little sort of plums?
-That was found in the corner of someone's potting shed
and was sent to the seed library. The real name has long been lost,
-so they gave it the name Auntie Madge's so we'll stay with that.
-Absolutely. You're supporting it.
There are many, many... Plumpton King, Earl of Edgecombe.
These are all from certain farms, certain families who sent them in?
Yes. Some are straight from nurseries. Others have been found in granddad's garden
-in a box or a drawer. That's the beauty of the seed library.
-I'd love to try one.
-There's a lovely red one there.
-One of these?
-Take that nice one.
-This is called Welsh Farmer Laws.
Look at that. Beautiful.
And actually you smell that...
It smells so beautiful and rich. Absolutely wonderful.
That'll be quite sweet, I imagine. I'll let you know.
Look at the colour on it.
That is quite immense in its flavour. Absolutely stunning to eat.
-Should we be encouraging more and more people to grow their own?
-Definitely. I'll show you how.
That's a good start.
-Pop it there.
-There he goes.
-You've partly eaten it, but left us some to work with.
All you really need to do is simple. We've a sheet of kitchen paper. Go after the individual seeds
and just let them dry on the paper. Store them in an envelope, somewhere relatively dry for wintertime.
It's incredible just seeing this because it's given me inspiration.
I hope it gives everybody watching and seeing this equal inspiration to start growing our own.
'Even if you don't have a garden, you can still get involved.
'Take the residents of Brighton and Hove. They've set up a community vegetable plot in the local park,
-'which is run by volunteers.'
-Over 100 people
have asked to be involved or given a few hours to help.
One of our gardeners is growing two dozen varieties of tomatoes.
That's the San Marzano, a plum variety like you find in your tins.
We try to grow things people might not think of growing, something new.
These are a black cherry. It's supposed to be the sweetest tomato you can get.
To plant a seed and wait a few months until food is ready to be eaten, that's really rewarding.
This actually came from a shop last year and I liked it so I kept the seeds.
And grew them this year.
'They also organise allotment shares so neighbours with no outside space can muck in and share the harvest.'
-They're one of the...
-The main thing you look forward to.
-Our own tomatoes!
One of the plants was really big. My little boy thought that was amazing.
'They even encourage local businesses like this restaurant in the centre of Brighton
-'to make the most of whatever space they've got.'
-This is our bin alley.
I started these off in my little back garden in a plastic greenhouse, then brought them here.
They've shot up the wall. I've got some big beef tomatoes that will make fantastic chutney.
These little tomatoes garnish my salads. If you can say you've done something on the premises
and it's literally come off the vine, it's such a good story to tell customers.
For my final recipe, I'm going to make a dessert.
That really will show you how versatile these tomatoes are.
Let's face it, they are a fruit.
I thought they must work in a pudding. This one's going to be a little different.
Where are the white tomatoes from? From here.
Just look. They're giving wonderfully. Almost that slightly overripe stage.
They'll be quite sensational, giving me a lot of juice to make that white in the sorbet.
'A kilo of these plump tomatoes should give me about a pint of juice.
'Just chop them roughly and pop them in a blender, stopping and starting so as not to overwork them.'
You can see this looseness.
That red will all be left behind and it's the pure white juice that you're going to extract.
'And I'm going to do this by pouring the chopped tomatoes through a piece of muslin.
'It will take some time to drip through, but it's worth it.
'You can use the pulp for soups or pasta sauces.'
Once it's all dripped through, you can see that slight little tone in it of the tomato.
Almost a kind of yellow, if you like. An orangey-yellow.
But that is white tomato liquor.
The next thing I'm going to make with it is, of course, the base. It won't make a sorbet on its own.
'Simply dissolve some liquid glucose in a pan with some caster sugar.
'Add the tomato water and leave to cool.'
You need to add that sweetness to prevent it setting like a big block of ice.
While that's happening, I'll make the actual almond pudding itself.
'It's a simple sponge mix made entirely in the food processor
'that starts with the dry ingredients, including almonds,
'and some digestive biscuit crumbs to give it texture
'and room-temperature butter.'
It's so quick and easy. Every single ingredient in together.
'To end, add the wet ingredients, namely three eggs,
'which once blitzed into a soft runny batter is simply poured into moulds.'
You want to fill them probably about two-thirds, three-quarters full.
Now straight into the oven. 140 degrees.
And we're going to leave these now for about 15 or 20 minutes. On they go.
Right. Let's finish off now our sorbet mix.
Let's have a little stir.
You certainly can't hear the little grains of sugar in there so you know it's absolutely ready.
'Once it's cooled, pour it into an ice cream machine to churn to the right consistency
'and pop it into the freezer to set.'
If you don't have an ice cream or sorbet machine, don't worry.
Set it, as a block, and then put it into a food processor to create that very thick slush.
Refreeze it and you'll have an ice cream.
Let's have a look at the sponges.
Here, let me show you these.
I think they look lovely.
Slightly soft in the centre.
You can see just getting that little colour around the outside.
And we've got the sorbet. Now this is how it got its title
of white tomato sorbet. You can see it's firmed up just enough.
Let's have a little taste. Take a clean spoon.
And we can just... Look at that.
It's really quite odd because all I'm eating here is sweet tomato.
It's almost got a strawberriness.
It's absolutely delicious.
So, without burning myself, let's see if we can pop one of these... There we are.
Take that out of the mould.
There you have a lovely sponge.
'I'm serving this with a tangy lime syrup that soaks into the sponge, keeping it nice and moist.'
Trickle that over the top.
'A flavour that complements the tomato sorbet perfectly.
'And I'm garnishing the plate with some oven-dried tomatoes dusted with sugar
'and more of those fragrant basil leaves.
'And there you have it. Another exciting dimension to the British tomato.'
This has been nothing but an education for me.
Really quite incredible. Finding myself eating a dessert with tomato,
it's opened up my eyes to the great British tomato.
I'm convinced by it. I hope you'll agree it needs to be revived.
Let's stick by it.
Now here's someone else beating the drum for another unsung hero of the British food world.
So we live on an island, we're surrounded by sea
and in that sea is the most amazing British crab, but we hardly eat it.
I want to find out why the British public aren't eating enough of it.
'I'm Angela Hartnett and I'm passionate about reviving the fortune of the British crab.
'It's baffling why we export over half our yearly catch of this creature.'
Don't you just want to eat the lovely white and brown meat?
'I'll reveal some of the best places to catch crab.' Ahoy there!
'Meeting people who love crab as much as me.'
You don't have sex just the one way, so come on, be adventurous!
'Finding out how to make it supermarket-friendly.'
-By pasteurising it, how long does that increase its shelf life for?
-From four days to 14.
'And the bit I really love - cooking. I'll show you three deliciously simple suppers,
'including an amazing spider crab gratin.'
Fantastic at a dinner party. Everyone loves the crab. They think you're the cleverest chef around.
My first memories of crab were the little jars of crab paste that you used to have in sandwiches.
It was only when I started becoming a chef later in life
that I realised how the original... and most amazing flavour you get from these crabs.
And recently, my most amazing taste sensation was down in Cornwall
where we had fantastic crab baguettes with lovely white wine.
On the beach, just eating that, you can't ask better.
'Shockingly, only about 5% of us have even tried crab,
'so exactly what have we got against this tasty crustacean?'
-Can I ask you something? Do you eat crab?
-And you, madam?
-No, thank you.
-You don't like it?
-You haven't tried it.
-No, thank you.
-Go on, try a bit.
-Is it live?
-Yes, it is live. Pick it up.
-I don't want to.
-You don't want to. Why not?
-Because it looks awful.
But you're eating the meat.
-It looks like a coconut. Is it alive?
-Yes. That is a fantastic spider crab.
-They're like giant spiders.
-I'm a bit arachnophobic. They freak me out.
-If you got a crab on your plate, would that freak you out?
-Yeah, that would freak me out.
'So most of us don't like the look of it, but if I'm going to get to the bottom
'of why we aren't eating enough crab, there is only one place to go
'and that's London's seafood market in the heart of the east end.'
We're here at Billingsgate, which is always good fun, about six in the morning.
If anyone knows why we're not eating crabs and what we need to do to make sure we eat crabs, it's these guys.
'Here taste definitely comes before looks, but appearance isn't the only problem crab has,
'as it's traditionally sold live to guarantee freshness.'
-I don't want to see them moving about.
-They're not so bad.
-Many people are like that, because it moves.
-That puts people off.
'And even the cooked ones need to be picked and dressed, something our busy schedules don't allow for.'
-People are lazy now. Everything is for convenience.
-No-one wants to do the work.
'So we're missing out on one of the healthiest, tastiest, most abundant meats our shores have to offer.'
We're like the largest producers of crab in Europe, so why aren't the British eating it?
The Europeans, generally, are bigger consumers of shellfish than we are.
That's just bonkers. It doesn't make sense.
If you go back 20, 30 years, there used to be a shellfish stall outside most pubs.
-So you could have crab every day?
-Crabs, cockles, eels.
-That's the tragedy. We export to Spain, France and Italy and we're not eating it here.
But why aren't the British cooking more of the fresh ones? Stick it in a little pot of water - easy.
-The British people are not fish-eating people.
-How do I get the British public eating more crab?
-What are your suggestions?
-Just say to 'em, "Come on, guys.
"You don't have sex just the one way, so come on, be adventurous!"
-I'm going to tell them to come to you.
-Come and see us. Crab's terrific. It's lovely.
'So where did it go wrong and how do we rekindle our love affair with this mouth-watering meat?'
We don't eat enough crab now, but years ago, we were eating tons of the stuff. What happened?
For example, in 1861, at the old Billingsgate Market, in one year,
600,000 live crabs were actually sold.
600,000? That's an incredible amount.
-It's nothing like that nowadays.
-What's changed our eating habits?
It's just getting hold of the crab.
In the old days, people would shop more at their fishmonger or a local market where products were available.
Nowadays, most of us, about 85% of us get our shellfish in the supermarkets.
-How many times have you seen crab in a supermarket?
-What about health benefits?
Crab are good for us because of high levels of long-chain omega-3 acids.
How much crab are we eating in this country?
Despite the fact that we land nearly 25,000 tonnes and it's the sixth most important fishery in the UK
and the UK fleet lands over half of the entire European catch, it doesn't even make the top ten.
So on holiday, we're eating crab, that we could be buying up the road,
-for twice the price? Something's wrong.
'The message is clear. Everyone is in love with British crab, except us Brits.
'So we need to stop being afraid and start eating more of it.'
I'm going to cook a really simple crab dish. It's easy to make. You've all eaten it at restaurants.
When you buy your crab, you want to make sure it's at its freshest,
which means buying it live and dispatching it yourself.
As an alternative, you can buy whole cooked crab from your fishmonger and pick the meat at home instead.
Start by removing the shell from your cooked crab.
Take it from the back and just literally push up, so you start to pull away the crab from its shell.
OK, remove its claws, which is where you'll find all the white meat.
And then all the little claws here.
Gently just pull them away like so from the body of the crab.
Here you have what they call dead man's fingers.
These are the crab gills and they are grey and shrivelled. You shouldn't eat them.
Inside this part of the crab, you've got all the lovely brown crab meat.
But it's the sweet white meat I'm after for my crab cakes and most of that is found in the claws.
Just slightly crack them
and again, a little bash there.
Think of someone you hate at the moment when you're banging it.
Then scrape out all that flaky white meat, making sure you get into all those hard-to-reach places.
Just use the back of the spoon and pull away all the crab meat like so.
But if all this looks too much like hard work,
you can ask your fishmonger to do it for you. But I say give it a go.
Some people get very nervous about it, but there's nothing better than being at the beach
and really tucking into crab like this. Loads of lemon juice, touch of mayonnaise and you're away.
OK, a final little one here.
Don't throw any shells away.
You can make them into soup or into bisque. They're great to make a little crab sauce.
Once you've picked all the meat, check for any sneaky bits of shell.
Tip a little bit out each time, then with your fingers, just literally go through it like that.
And that's it. It's dead easy really.
So is turning it into crab cakes.
All you need to do is blitz up some spring onion, ginger and chilli.
They're all going to be used to spice it up.
And add it to the crab meat.
It's the most simple dish ever. Just mix that all together like that.
And throw in some fresh coriander.
If you don't want to use coriander, basil is another nice herb that you can add to it as well.
Then it's in with some whisked egg, some salt and pepper...
..and breadcrumbs to help bind it, and you're ready to roll.
Classic American dish. When we had a restaurant in the States, everyone wanted to eat crab cakes.
They love them. And we should make them such a thing on our menus over here.
Then we're just going to pat them down.
Just like so, about half an inch thick.
The smell is absolutely delicious. How simple is that?
All they need now is a crisp breadcrumb coating, held in place with a bit of flour and egg.
The first thing you need to do is dip the crab into the flour or do them two at a time.
Great little job to do with kids.
They like dipping their hands in loads of nonsense and it's perfect to do that.
You can even at this stage freeze them.
When you bring them out to cook them, make sure they've defrosted overnight in a fridge.
Then simply fry them in olive oil.
You just want to lightly move them around,
just so they get a nice, even golden brown colour.
And when they're gorgeous and crispy on both sides,
get them on to a tray and into the oven to warm through.
Oh, God, they look amazing, absolutely delicious. They've been in for about ten minutes.
Put your spoon in the end. Go straight into the centre and bring it to your lips.
It feels hot, so you know they're thoroughly cooked through.
All these need now is a spoonful of sweet chilli jam, a fresh green salad and a slice of lemon.
A little bit of olive oil on your salad, just a drizzle,
and we're going to put two of the crab cakes straight on like so.
And a squeeze of lemon as well.
So all finished.
They look absolutely amazing. I'm sure they taste amazing.
I'll just tuck in here.
You can see straight away that fantastic crab there. Beautiful.
Why are we getting rid of this stuff abroad?
It tastes amazing, so simple to do.
It's full of the flavours of the sea. They're delicious, even if I say so myself.
'No attempt to revive the British crab would be worth its salt without a trip to the seaside,
'so I'm off to Swanage on the Dorset coast
'to find out more from a fisherman whose family have been catching crab for five generations.'
I'm just waiting for Jeff who you can see just coming in now.
I've eaten nothing this morning because when I go on a boat, I normally throw up.
'Jeff Lander catches brown crab for the British market and spider crab which he exports abroad.
'He is one of only a few full-time crab fishermen left in the area.'
-I feel like the Queen!
-There's your life-jacket.
'It's a dying trade and one we need to support, seasickness or not.'
Ahoy there, sailor!
'Jeff uses a baited potting system
'and, thanks to checking and re-baiting his 500 pots six days a week,
'has a fine pair of sea legs unlike me.'
I'm gripping Jeff with all my might because I feel we're like this.
Explain what's going on, Jeff.
We're going to lift the pots up. We're going to empty the crabs out.
And you've got all these pots attached to one another?
-They're all attached.
-How many do you have in one line?
-In one line, there's 30.
-You've got to be careful.
-That one's going back in.
-That one's small anyway, so he can go back.
'Jeff pulls in 100 to 150 kilos of brown crab a day during peak season
'and like all good fishermen, throws the small ones back to protect future stocks and his livelihood.'
-That's a good crab.
-Those ones are all too small.
-That one's all right.
-This poor little bubba, back in.
'And size isn't the only factor as crab shed their shells as part of their growth cycle.'
-When you say it's a soft shell, it feels soft?
-It's a new-shell crab.
-It's shed its old shell and it's going to regrow?
-It's regrown and now it takes time to harden.
-Right, OK. So it's not at peak condition.
-This is a better crab.
-That looks great. That's nice and hard.
-Can we take that home to eat?
-You can take that one home to eat.
'Now I've got my tea sorted, I'm hoping we can head back to shore.
'But the crabs keep on coming and not just the brown crabs.'
-That's a female spider crab.
-Wow! How many of those do you get?
-At this time of the year, not that many.
It's a summertime thing - May through to August, September.
'And we eat even less spider crab than brown crab,
'despite them being common to our shores. It's sickening really.'
-Are you all right, Angela?
-Yeah, yeah. It'd just be good to turn around now.
We've done that. Been crab-fishing. Tick that box. Don't need to do that again, thanks very much.
I don't want to vomit on the crabs!
'Back on dry land and a little less green around the gills, I'm off to meet a man
'who cooks up a staggering 90 crabs a day in the summer.'
You'd like these to eat now?
'Mick Storer has been dishing up crab for 28 years
'and will show me a few trade secrets with these cooked crabs.'
-Take the legs off first?
I turns him round, puts my thumbs on the back, pushes it and he opens up. Tickety-boo!
Oh, I've got no strength!
You can do it any way you like.
Yeah, I'm really useless. Then bring that all out like that. Wow!
'Mick knows everything about the gills or dead man's fingers.'
-Do they think they're poisonous?
-Yeah. It depends on where they've been feeding.
-So they could be.
-Depending on the clarity of their water.
'And has prepping crab down to a fine art.'
And then a simple trick.
If you put your finger close to all the legs and pull at once...
Oh, I did that one perfectly.
-All the meat comes out in one go.
-You haven't got to pick it out.
-You've just saved yourself a few minutes.
I love your top tips there, Mick.
Then we're going to dress the crab in the classic English way. You've got all the brown meat there.
All the brown meat on the bottom. Just pop the white meat on top.
-You just leave it all there because you've taken all the rubbish bits out.
-This is the way you eat it.
-'It's a favourite with his customers too. At under £5 a head, it's cheaper than fish and chips.'
So that's my lunch. You're an officer and a gentleman. Beautiful.
-You can't get better than that - beautiful British crab.
-Bottle of wine, tickety-boo!
It's been a fantastic experience from fishing the crabs to cooking them and now eating them.
And the flavour is second to none without having to do too much to it, except prep it.
One of the best things about today that I've learnt is the abundance of it.
I've always naively thought that we didn't have loads of crab.
We have loads of crab, but we're exporting them.
We have to make sure it's coming straight to us, not going abroad.
'And there's plenty more we can do with it.
Just to show how versatile crab is,
I'm going to do the most amazing crab linguine.
To start off, season our water with rock salt. Make sure it's nice and boiling.
Just straight away, add your linguine in.
I prefer dried to fresh linguine and cook it for seven to eight minutes to retain its al dente bite,
which is more than enough time to make my sauce.
Just to start off, we're going to put quite a bit of olive oil in the bottom of the pan.
And add some full-on flavours,
starting with garlic, about a clove.
Cut your knife through it very lightly.
And for heat, some de-seeded red chilli.
Chilli is fantastic with crab.
It really enhances the flavour without overkill and making it too spicy.
So that straight in the pan like so.
And I want some fragrant herbs.
Some fresh flat-leaf parsley and some lovely, fresh basil.
All these lovely, fresh herbs are great with crab.
They really enhance the flavour, basil especially.
You've got the sweetness of the basil and of the crab.
We got this fantastic crab here from Jeff down in Swanage, down in Dorset.
He's one of the few left in this country, so we need to start getting these guys back out on the sea.
That means eating more delicious British crab meat which is hardly a hardship.
We'll deglaze it with a bit of white wine.
Put a little bit of salt in with our crab here, a little bit of black pepper.
Add our spring onions in.
Along with a little bit of lemon zest just to give it that freshness.
And that's it. It's dead simple.
This dish works as a main course for two people or for four as a starter.
When we put it on at the restaurant, people absolutely go mad for crab linguine.
So our pasta's done. I'm going to tip it out.
Just give it a really good shake.
Straight into there.
Add our parsley, add our basil.
Then really give it a great, nice toss there,
so you get all the crab going right through the pasta.
And there you have it, a deliciously straightforward crab supper.
Just before you eat it, do a little squeeze of lemon juice. It brings out that amazing crab flavour.
So you couldn't ask for anything better.
You've got linguine with fresh basil and parsley, but most importantly, the most amazing Dorset crab.
That really is good.
'One reason we're not eating enough crab is because it's hard to come by in supermarkets.
'So I've come to Hampton in Middlesex to visit a company
'who are trying to change things.'
If you don't like the idea of cooking fresh, live crab, I've got the perfect solution right now.
'The answer is pasteurised crab meat,
'but not the frozen, "steamed within an inch of its life" stuff of yesteryear. This is the real deal.'
-The fresh crab comes from Cornwall. It's all picked by hand, then we pack it into these small pots.
-What's that? 100 grams?
-Yeah. That's done so we get a portion for two people.
'It's then vac-packed and steamed or pasteurised at a temperature that ensures it is safe to eat.'
By pasteurising it, how long does that it increase its shelf life for?
-From four days as a fresh product to 14.
-That's a long time.
-It makes it a lot more plausible for supermarkets to be able to sell it on that basis.
'So how does it compare to fresh crab meat?'
The only reason I think that is the fresh crab and that's pasteurised is because of colour.
-Taste-wise, there's absolutely no difference.
I've tasted pasteurised before which is watery and insipid, but that's really delicious.
-I'll take them with me!
So that's a great way of getting crab into the supermarkets and out to the mass consumer.
The taste was absolutely amazing.
But if we really want to see a culture that's been embracing eating crab for years,
I've got to see my Spanish friends.
'Sadly, not in Spain, but in London's Soho instead.'
The Spanish love seafood. They eat more seafood
than anyone apart from the Japanese,
so crab is really important to them.
And also I think one could argue
that the Spanish are much more likely to get their hands dirty when it comes to eating.
You have to get involved in extracting all those sweet bits of meat.
'A lesson we can learn from head chef Nieves who brought her passion for crab from the Basque Country.'
Why do the Spanish eat more crab than the Brits?
You go to Spain and you have big crabs on the table. You start picking it.
You drink wine and cava with it.
It's really common for us to have crab and seafood,
-especially at Christmas.
-Why is that?
-Why has Spain embraced crab more than the Brits when we've got it all round the island?
-I don't know.
-It tastes delicious.
-It's not expensive and it's special. You know, it's something you...
I think it's a cultural thing that the Spanish, like the Italians and French, eat together.
-It's a family thing, a sharing thing.
'This isn't the only Spanish tradition to involve crab.
'Spider crab stew is a speciality too.'
-So this is the fantastic spider crab?
-Yeah, that's a spider crab.
-So normally what you do, you put all the mix in here.
-Then you put this on top like that and you'd serve that whole.
-That's what you do traditionally in the Basque Country in Spain?
'The Spanish use crab in just about everything from simple tapas to elegant souffles like this one.'
I'm going in for the kill.
Oh, my God, it's so good.
-If people ate crab like this, they would eat crab all the time.
-That is so nice.
'That's exactly what we need to do if we're going to revive it.'
We've got to embrace that Spanish and Italian culture that sits down and eats it together as a family.
It's an amazing product and we shouldn't give it away.
We should eat it every week on the British dining table.
For dressing it, we're going to look at what bits you don't want.
'If you're still not sure about preparing crab from scratch,
'many courses around the UK will take you through it step by step, like this one at Billingsgate.'
People who come on these courses are nervous about handling it.
They're worried about food poisoning.
If you're faced with a whole crab, they think, "What do I do with that?" Demystifying it is the key thing.
This is the main body. A lot of people chuck that out, but there are lots of cavities in the shell here.
When you first look at a crab, it's daunting.
But when someone explains to you how to do it, it's fairly easy.
I'd be happy to go to a fishmonger's now, buy a crab and dress it myself.
I was always quite concerned as to what parts I should keep and what parts I shouldn't,
so that's a bit clearer now.
A course like this is absolutely fantastic.
Seeing how to do it is an awful lot easier than reading about it.
'So come on, folks. It's time to start cooking and eating more crab.
'And I've saved my best dish till last.'
For my third dish, I'll use the spider crab.
I'll take out all the meat, make it into a lovely, spicy, tomato ragout,
put it back in and serve it in the crab.
This crab is cooked and ready to pick. We prepare the spider crab the same way as you would a brown crab.
I'm going to start the normal way by basically removing the base of the shell,
so they separate like so.
Nieves uses spider crab in her cuisine all the time. It's a real favourite amongst the Spanish.
We forget we have it in our country.
We'll eat it in Spain and France, but in fact all they're doing is importing it from the UK.
So we've got to make sure we start using it here.
Again take off all the dead man's fingers, as they say.
The great thing about this is the presentation. I love it and so will your friends at your dinner table.
I'm going to keep the shell.
We're just going to rinse that because we're going to use that to serve our spider crab.
Then you can see you've got really juicy, quite wet crab meat.
And it has that really lovely, salty sort of flavour of the sea.
Time to get on with the ragout itself which starts with celery, leeks and shallots.
Straight into a pan with olive oil and we're just going to lightly saute that down.
A little bit of pepper and salt just to sort of start it off.
And then some finely chopped ginger.
And the ginger really does give it that sort of oriental, spicy flavour to it which is fantastic.
Then it's in with some sweet cherry tomatoes and a good squeeze of tomato puree.
And that will help to keep the sauce nice and thick.
For acidity, a glug of white wine vinegar.
Followed by the zest and juice of a lemon.
If you want, you can really spice this up.
You can add a little bit of honey to it if you wanted to really have that sweet and sour effect.
A bit of maple syrup as well.
I'm going to keep it more on the salty side than the sweet side.
And once the tomatoes have broken down, we add our juicy spider crab.
As soon as that goes in, we deglaze it with a bit of brandy.
Brandy is the perfect accompaniment to crab meat or any sort of light fish sauces.
It just gives it a little boost.
And our final little ingredient, just to give it a little bit of a kick, is Tabasco.
To taste, obviously. Then off the heat, stir through some sweet basil, my herb of choice with crab.
So straight into the shell like so.
All I've done is just wash it out and make sure it's clean and dry.
And once it's all in there,
scatter some grated Gruyere, Parmesan and breadcrumbs.
So the last little bit of breadcrumbs and cheese on there
and then in the oven.
After three or four minutes under a hot grill, it will be gorgeous, bubbling, golden brown.
So there you have it - a beautiful, gratinated spider crab.
This is such a meal in itself with the spider crab, the tomato, the leek,
onions, celery. Really delicious!
That's the real shame of it all. We've got the most amazing product
from brown crabs down in Cornwall and Dorset, spider crabs and the Norfolk Cromer crabs.
We should be using this stuff daily in our cooking, instead of exporting it.
I hope you'll with me revive the Great British crab.
Really make an effort and do these simple recipes I showed you and use crab every week.
Some of our best Great British produce is under threat and this exciting series is a call to action as ten of the BBC's best-loved chefs and cooks help to bring our traditional produce back from the brink. We've got the rarest, tastiest and most culturally important ingredients right here under our noses, but they are in danger of being lost forever if we don't rally behind them. Each episode of The Great British Food Revival takes two passionate presenters on a gastronomic journey to discover, cook with and reinvigorate our great heritage foods. Each show is a campaign by the hosts to raise awareness, get people cooking with, talking about and enjoying these great British ingredients.
In this final episode of the series, culinary legend Gary Rhodes wants us all to appreciate the virtues of the British tomato. Unlike our Italian or Spanish cousins we view the tomato as a year round product so ignore the British growing season when our own fruit is at its best. To show us why we should change our ways Gary discovers the wealth of varieties out there, learns how easy it is for us to grow our own and demonstrates a three course menu that has great tasting British tomatoes at its core, including an innovative white tomato sorbet. Then Michelin starred chef Angela Hartnett attempts to find her sea legs when she delves into why crab is so unloved in Britain. Although our coastal waters are teeming with sweet tasting brown and spider crab, the majority of those caught by our fishermen are destined to be shipped abroad where they are highly prized. Angela cooks three fabulous recipes that show why this crustacean deserves its place on British plates.