For me, one of the best tastes of Spring is the sharp lemon tang of sorrel. Wood Sorrel is a delightfully bright green lighting up the woodland floor, delicate white flowers and its clover-like leaves make it very easy to identify, one bite and the distinct taste makes it unmistakable.
The other sorrel is completely unrelated but shares its name due to the simular taste – growing in open fields and a member of the dock family there are several varieties – Arrow Sorrel, Sheep Sorrel- all can generically be covered by the heading Field Sorrel. Recently I led a Wild Food Walk for the lovely chef, Adam, at Nuthurst Grange Hotel (www.nuthurst-grange.co.uk) – after tramping the surronding grounds and fields we took a walk around the walled herb graden, where someone asked for the identity of a plant – bending down I immediatley declared it to be Bistort – also an edible member of the dock family but much larger than sorrel. However I was most surprised when I tasted a leaf to find the distinct citrus of sorrel – it was a huge cultivated version and it was a good lesson that even an experienced forager can make an identification error!