Dear Truffler: Barbecues for a small spaces

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I would like to buy a very small portable barbecue and have been advised by friends in Singapore and New York with limited patio space that the best type is a Japanese cast-iron hibachi barbecue. Do you know who stocks these in the UK? I'm told they work very well and last a lifetime.

I would like to buy a very small portable barbecue and have been advised by friends in Singapore and New York with limited patio space that the best type is a Japanese cast-iron hibachi barbecue. Do you know who stocks these in the UK? I'm told they work very well and last a lifetime.

Heather Day, London



I can't believe your international friends are recommending the £5.99 "Hibachi" barbecue from Woolworths. They must be talking about the genuine article, a cast- iron "fire bowl" type of barbecue from Japan. Someone should start importing them – because unfortunately they seem unknown here. If you want a tabletop barbie that'll last, department stores have the Weber Go-Anywhere models which are portable, have rust-resistant lids, and cost from £44.99. The most stylish, perfect-for-patio model I've seen is Le Barbecue from Diligence (01364 654716). It's steel, wall-mounted and folds up flat when you're not using it. The catch – it costs £488. Or there's a smart aluminium square model from Ocean (0870 2426283) which is portable, at £59.



Horseradish: the incomparable Simon Hopkinson had a lot of delectable recipes featuring real horseradish. I've only found it at Selfridges, and used only a tiny bit, while the rest rotted in the salad drawer. Is it possible to grate it then freeze it in small quantities? Or are there other ways of ensuring a supply of the real thing?

Antonia Till, London



According to Selfridges you can grate it then freeze it in an airtight bag. Don't freeze whole or it might go mushy, I'm told; and freeze it quickly after grating or it will lose its pungency. If you have space to plant some it will grow like a weed, then you won't have a supply problem. If anything the opposite will be true.



The saltpetre correspondence has finally petered out. One last informant told me that it's not actually illegal, merely inconvenient and unprofitable for chemists to sell in small quantities. Whatever the real reason, it's hard to find but not essential for home-curing. I hope it won't put off those who've thought about having a go at making petit salé or curing ham.



E-mail truffler@independent.co.uk or write to Dear Truffler, The Independent, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS. I'm sorry I can't reply personally to all questions but will do my best to truffle out answers and share them with everyone here.

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