Seaweed is being described by some as a superfood, the new kale, but to date there is little evidence based research to support such a claim.This is because until recently seaweed, which is at the bottom of the food chain, has not been considered worthy of research funding.
Where do you stand on using foraged foods in cooking? Whether you are completely new to foraging or a foraging enthusiast, sometimes taking home some carefully-picked edible wild plants (and after even more careful identification), the question is: how to use foraging plants in cooking?
I harvest wild edibles for my own breakfast, lunch and supper table. A little here, a little there, and never more than a sixth of what's on offer. I ensure that plenty is left for the birds and bees. Common sense dictates that picking every summer elderflower in sight, doesn't bode well for elderberries in the autumn.
Some of us who have been cooking with wild seaweed long before it reached its dizzy, new found celebrity status, may think that dulse tastes like bacon but others will disagree. If pushed I'm in the bacon'ish' camp but I'm not overly keen to compare the two.
Scottish readers may have to wait a week or two until they can harvest elderflower blossom but from my recent sojourn to the southerly parts of our Isle, I'll guess that most of Britain is ready to reap the culinary benefits of the elderflower.
Over the summer months landlocked folk who holiday by the sea, might check up on tide times and chase a low spring tide (when the sea retreats to expose rocks usually covered by water). Dulse is a delicious red seaweed to look out for
This weekend a brother in law and I fed seaweed to my elderly mother in law.The food on offer by the nursing home had been declined and yet after a little coaxing, my ma in law cleared her plates of food. Seaweed was the secret ingredient in most of the courses.
As the spring leaves push through fading blossom, it's hard not to feel sad, if you are a fan of scented prettiness but the foraging cook knows that some young leaves and buds are appetising.
Renewal of nettle interest may be associated with times of subsistence but I like the idea of cooking with ingredients from times when folk lived from hand to mouth - cooking with simple foods that are readily and freely available to everyone.
Jack by the Hedge may be described as a groupie; find one plant and it is probably the start of a lengthy border.Reference to Jack (Jill gets an occasional look in) in folklore means common, its inclusive, there for everyman (or woman). Jack by the Hedge is well named.