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Eat More Seaweed (It’s Good for You)

Foraging for fresh seaweeds gives you option and the best taste according to this Brittany seaweed eater

smithsonian.com

To make this three-seaweed quiche, you will need the bright green sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca), a reddish algae from the genus Porphrya and some fresh dulse (Palmaria palmata). Combine with crème fraîche, butter, cheese, eggs, sauteed onions, perhaps some carrots and zucchini. Mound it altogether in a pastry.

Delicious, as long as your seaweed is fresh—perhaps picked that very morning at low tide.

As seaweed forager Cristelle Maine demonstrates in the video above, via The Kid Should See This, anyone who lives near the sea might enjoy the wide variety of edible plants that grow on the edge of the land.

"It is not like with mushrooms," she says (according to the subtitles—Maine speaks French). "There’s no seaweed that is naturally toxic." She describes the different tastes of the red, green and brown seaweeds that she collects and cooks into a seaweed tart.

If you frequent sushi restaurants, with their nori and succulent seaweed salads, noshing on greens from the sea may not seem odd. Seaweed has found its way to the plates of many shore-dwelling cultures, probably because it is abundant but also low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals. And, in fact, seaweed is farmed and foraged around the world.

Its place in Western cuisine hasn’t been explored as much, though—perhaps because it's "associated with poverty," the BBC suggests. In Wales, for example laverbread—"bara lawr" in Welsh—includes a paste of cooked seaweed. In Ireland, dried dulse makes a snack.

So, if you live near the ocean, perhaps now is the time to add some new plants to your diet.

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