Seashore foraging with Dorset Tea

A few weeks ago we ran a seashore foraging event for our friends at Dorset Tea. They invited some leading bloggers to Dorset for a few days to help launch their new fruit & herbal infusions range. We had been involved in helping create this range taking Dorset Tea staff for a day of summer foraging to help inspire them.

Dorset Tea fruit and herbal infusions. Picture courtesy of Coralie - www.teatimeinwonderland.co.uk
Dorset Tea fruit and herbal infusions. Photo courtesy of Coralie – www.teatimeinwonderland.co.uk

On route to the beach we found plants of interest – lovely Elderflower with it’s myriad of uses and the deadly poisonous Hemlock Water-Dropwort. At the rocky headland we discovered a good number of species of edible seaweed. In this country little attention is paid to them but they are very popular in East Asian cuisine (Japanese, Chinese & Korean). We are fortunate in having many  of the same or equivalent species on our coast. There is also a long history of using some species in Ireland and Wales. The key to cooking seaweeds is appropriate treatment for each species.

Showing the bloggers some of the species of seaweed that can be used in the kitchen. Photo courtesy of The West Dorset Foodie (http://www.westdorsetfoodie.co.uk)
Showing the bloggers some of the species of seaweed that can be used in the kitchen. Photo courtesy of The West Dorset Foodie – http://www.dorsetfoodiefamily.co.uk/.

 

Dulse
Dulse – an edible seaweed – popular in Ireland. Photo courtesy of Coralie – www.teatimeinwonderland.co.uk

 

25-carageen
Carageen – gives a setting agent – a vegetarian version of gelatine. Photo courtesy of Coralie – www.teatimeinwonderland.co.uk

 

20-sugar-kelp
Sugar Kelp – used for crisps, dashi stock (for miso soup etc) and in cakes & biscuits! Photo courtesy of Coralie – www.teatimeinwonderland.co.uk

I had put a crab / lobster put out a day or two before. You never know what will be in it when you retrieve it. I was delighted that it contained…

Lobster
A Lobster – Photo courtesy of Coralie – www.teatimeinwonderland.co.uk

 

A Velvet Swimming Crab - Photo courtesy of Coralie - www.teatimeinwonderland.co.uk
A Velvet Swimming Crab – Photo courtesy of Coralie – www.teatimeinwonderland.co.uk

 

one and half Prawns - Photo courtesy of Coralie - www.teatimeinwonderland.co.uk
one and half Prawns (blame the Lobster) – Photo courtesy of Coralie – www.teatimeinwonderland.co.uk

 

and a Three-Bearded Rock Ling (cod family). Photo courtesy of Coralie - www.teatimeinwonderland.co.uk
and a Three-Bearded Rock Ling (cod family). Photo courtesy of Coralie – www.teatimeinwonderland.co.uk

We headed for our start via some seashore plants including this magnificent Sea Kale. This was once a very popular Victorian vegetable, grown in gardens with young shoots forced in earthenware “chimneys” like rhubarb.

Sea Kale
Sea Kale. Photo courtesy of The West Dorset Foodie – http://www.dorsetfoodiefamily.co.uk/

The session ended with a picnic Hedgerow Harvest had prepared based on foraged wild foods. This contained 13 foraged wild foods and featured :

  • Wild cordials and Elderflower Champagne
  • Miso soup – including dashi stock (Sugar Kelp), Ceps, Wild Garlic and Sea Lettuce
  • Frittata – including home-smoked mackerel, Sea Beet and Wild Garlic,
  • Sides – Sea Spaghetti and Carrot salad, Sea Lettuce
  • Elderflower Panna Cotta – using Carrageen seaweed and Elderflower
Elderflower Champagne
Elderflower Champagne. Photo courtesy of Coralie – www.teatimeinwonderland.co.uk

 

Miso Soup - with lots of wild ingredients.
Miso Soup – with lots of wild ingredients. Photo courtesy of Coralie – www.teatimeinwonderland.co.uk

 

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Frittata – including home-smoked mackerel, Sea Beet and Wild Garlic, with side dishes of Sea Spaghetti and Carrot salad and Sea Lettuce. Photo courtesy of Coralie – www.teatimeinwonderland.co.uk

 

Elderflower Panna Cotta - using Carrageen seaweed and Elderflower.
Elderflower Panna Cotta – using Carrageen seaweed and Elderflower. Photo courtesy of Coralie – www.teatimeinwonderland.co.uk

You can read the bloggers write ups of their trip to Dorset including lots more photos at:

West Dorset Foodie

Tea Time in Wonderland (foraging is part of the way through the article)

The Girl Outdoors (foraging is part of the way through the article)

There are also photos scattered over twitter and other social media including

Dorset Tea – Seashore forage Dorset (Pinterest).

If you would like to join us on a seashore foraging course or would like your own bespoke foraging event please contact us.