Chef Māris Jansons and GrassLIFE have published a grassland-dedicated cookbook “Meadow”
Chef of restaurant “Kest” Maris Jansons in cooperation with Institute for Environmental Solutions and Latvian Fund for Nature has published a comprehensive cookbook called “Meadow” that is dedicated to grasslands and the wealth of resources that they provide us with. This book skilfully combines the innovation in cooking and plants from Latvian semi-natural grasslands, merged in 25 original recipes developed by the chef. Each recipe tells a story of one special plant that grows in Latvian semi-natural grasslands.
“While working on this book, I thought a lot about what nature means to me. In the process of getting older, I see that values from childhood return in my life and I know that I am not the only one that experiences that. Latvia is rich in so many plants that have medicinal qualities and also are great components to the food”, says the chef Māris Jansons.
The cookbook “Meadow” includes 25 plants that are growing in Latvian semi-natural grasslands and whose unique taste and fragrance inspired the chef to those new, and sometimes challenging, recipes. Recipes feature plants like Cowslip (Primula veris), Tormentil (Potentilla erecta), Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria), Water Avens (Geum rivale), and many others.
With this book, its creators tell the story of semi-natural grasslands as one of natural treasures of Latvia and a cornerstone to our identity. In terms of biodiversity, semi-natural grasslands are even richer than tropical forests – with up to 50 wild plant species that can be seen in one square meter of the grassland. Unfortunately, semi-natural grasslands are in decline throughout Europe, with only 0.7% of our territory covered with them in Latvia, nowadays.
To help to maintain the semi-natural grasslands for next generations, Latvian Fund for Nature, Institute for Environmental Solutions, University of Latvia and twelve farms throughout Latvia have joined their efforts in a major grassland restoration project GrassLIFE that is funded by the EU LIFE programme.
Opening of the cookbook took place in Ungurmuiža, on 16th June 2021. The book is available by contacting Latvian Fund for Nature.