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S16-E4 River Cottage Veg: Summer Pleasures

S16-E4 River Cottage Veg: Summer Pleasures

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It takes 25 litres of water to produce a potato and 2,400 litres of water to produce a hamburger, when you take rearing a cow into account. Environmental concerns and fears for his own health have propelled Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall towards a vegetarian diet, but despite his pledge, it’s tough turning down fresh mackerel sushi tonight. And he needs emotional support in order to cater for a vegetarian cricket tea.

That support comes from a Japanese chef trained to cater for Buddhist monks. The monks, it seems, developed a system that helps the palate to stop craving flesh by using exciting textures and flavours and the fifth taste sensation, umami.


Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's plan for a meat-free summer runs into trouble when he goes on a fishing trip and has difficulty resisting an offer of mackerel sushi. However, his commitment is reinvigorated by a trip to a Japanese restaurant in Birmingham, where a chef introduces him to traditional recipes created by Buddhist monks. Hugh also takes on the challenge of providing a vegetarian tea for a cricket team.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Director Aidan Woodward
Executive Producer Andrew Palmer
Series Producer Claire Lewis


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