In the 50th anniversary year of BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World, the TV presenters have each been nominating their choice for the Golden Jubilee Plant – the plant that’s had the biggest impact on gardening over the last half century.
And Frances Tophill nominates the chilli for the Golden Jubilee Plant, a fascinating choice based on how our culinary tastes have developed over these decades and how this has affected the way we garden in terms of the ingredients we choose to grow at home.
Fifty years ago, when BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World first went into production, British cuisine and our veg patches were a hearty and rustic affair¬¬ – from potatoes and carrots to parsnips and radishes. The country’s cuisine saw a dramatic turning point from the 60s onwards. Easier travel, the emergence of mainstream television and radio, and ultimately the internet, means that multi-cultural foods worked their way into our everyday lives. From the chicken tikka masala of the 70s to the burgeoning trends in worldwide cuisines in the 21st century, as our palettes have changed, so have our veg patches.
On the popular BBC Two programme, Frances said "I would like to champion chillies. It’s a great representative of our ever-expanding gardening and culinary repertoire. In the last half century travel has not only expanded our horizons but has widened the range of food that we love to grow.”
At the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham, you can meet chilli-inspired producers, get great recipes ideas and shop for fantastic chilli-based products. And with your free entry to BBC Gardeners’ World Live, you can discover more about growing a host of culinary flavours, whatever space you’ve got as well as shopping for quality fruit, veg and herb plants.
Book tickets for the BBC Good Food Show Summer, with free entry to BBC Gardeners’ World Live, at the NEC 15 - 18 June 2017, today.