Back in July, we took Cath from A Lush Life coastal foraging for edible seashore plants and seaweed. We then cooked a meal with the foraged ingredients al-fresco.
Thanks to all the lovely folk that joined us on our seashore foraging walk on the spectacular Jurassic Coast in Dorset last Saturday. The sun shone and we found a good range of seashore plants, seaweed and had good luck on the crustacean front. We are back again on 27th May (fully booked), for Coastal Plants on 15th July and seashore again on 23rd September. Thanks to those that sent in some of their photos.
Seaweed was on the television last night as part of “Back to the Land with Kate Humble“. This series champions the UK’s most inspirational rural entrepreneurs. In last night’s episode she met a seaweed collector who left an office job in Swindon for a life working on the beach and is now running a successful business selling Welsh seaweed products to a global market.
The company is called The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company and Jonathan gathers a range of seaweeds on the Pembrokeshire coast continuing a tradition of hundreds of years. There is reproduction of a seaweed drying hut nearby, there were many in this area once . The company uses seaweed in:
* takeaway food sold at his beach café (street food outlet) and many outdoor festivals (e.g. Laver relish on burgers / gingercake with Laver etc.)
* in products – dried flakes, seaweed salts, butter, “kelchup” (yes Kelp Ketchup!) and more – sold globally including to the Japanese (“coals to Newcastle” eat you heart out!)
I visited the café on holiday a few years ago and the Gingerbread was stunning. I did email Jonathan for the recipe, he replied:
That is a top secret recipe, but to help guide you we use extra ginger (i.e. ginger powder and fresh ginger), Welsh Stout and Welshman’s Caviar (his dried Laver product name – apparently a phrase coined by the Welsh actor Richard Burton).
You can watch the episode (if you are in the UK) here – forward to 21:12 (to 28:26).
My only criticism is I disagree with pulling seaweed directly off the rocks, I recommend cutting it.
Thanks to the folk that came on our Seaweed foraging walk over the weekend. The sun shone and the sea was calm and they had a great time. The session included:
- identifying about a dozen edible species
- learning about the law and how to harvest seaweed sustainably
- gathering some to take home
- learning what can be done with seaweeds in the kitchen
- how to preserve them
The walk ended with trying a selection of dishes with seaweed in:
- Sugar kelp crisps
- Miso Soup
- Dulse Cheese Scones
- Elderflower Pannacotta