Welsh Witterings: Deadly Delights- lurking in your pantry
At the moment store cupboard cooking is in the limelight and it seems everyone and their Gran is talking about how we should be delving into the back of our pantry in order to cook daily feasts for ourselves and family. I am all for store cupboard cooking and for using up leftovers to make new delicious meals, but as I have read concerns over how long a packet of rice will last and whether a tin of chick peas can be used one month past its sell-by date, it got me thinking about some of the dangerous foods that lurk in our culinary cupboards.
- Fruit Stones and Pips
Cherry stones, like apple pips and apricot stones contain a type of hydrogen cyanide called prussic acid, so best not to over indulge on these fruit seeds.
Rhubarb makes a lovely crumble, but its leaves contain oxalic acid, which causes kidney stones
I love a grating of nutmeg on milk puddings, egg custard and in home made tea loaf, but nutmeg is actually a hallucinogenic, so eat in moderation.
Glycoalkaloids, also found in deadly nightshade, can be found in the leaves, stems, and sprouts of potatoes. It can also build up in the potato if it’s left too long, especially in the light, hence the advice of storing potatoes in a cool, dark space. Consuming glycoalkaloids will lead to cramping, diarrhoea, headaches and confusion and could lead to comatose and death. So be careful where you store your potatoes and avoid any that have a green tinge.
- Raw Honey
Unpasteurized honey often contains grayanotoxin. Typically just one tablespoon of concentrated grayanotoxin can cause symptom including dizziness, weakness, excessive sweating, nausea, and vomiting.
The stems and leaves of tomatoes contain alkali poisons that can cause stomach agitation. Unripe green tomatoes have been said to have the same effect, so you might want to go easy on that green tomato chutney.