Thursday, October 2, 2014

Seaweed and Ripples in the rock pool

Helen and Spice Girl foraging for seaweed
.

Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me

As I gaze upon the sea

All the old romantic legends,

All my dreams, come back to me

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow- The Secret of the Sea)


I have been informed that there are more than 200 varieties of seaweed on Irish shores and, while some may be distasteful, all are edible.  Some tasty varieties are:  Sea Spaghetti (Himanthalia Elongata)Sleabhcán (porphyra spp) Dilisk (Palmaria Palmata)
Carrageen (Clondrus crispus)Alaria (Alaria Esculenta).


These next few weeks will find us foraging for seaweed and learning of its medicinal, culinary and cosmetic benefits.  

Entrance to Youghal Harbour 

The Lighthouse at Youghal Harbour


This song shows some of the Irish shores we will haunt.


Do you include seaweed in your diet?

58 comments:

  1. It sounds very interesting not only haunting seaweed but also exploring the Irish coastline. I don't include it in my diet although seafood is every week on the table.
    Dearest Helen, enjoy your stay and thanks for the wonderful video!
    Olympia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Olympia
      I am finding learning about seaweed to be very fascinating and interesting. I can imagine the delicious seafood you find in Greece. Happy to hear your found the video of interest
      Enjoy your weekend

      Helenxx

      Delete
  2. Such beautiful and haunting photographs Helen …… seaweed doesn't feature heavily in our diet but, whenever we visit our friends in Wales, we have been known to have Laverbread for breakfast, which is minced up seaweed and rather gelatinous !! not really my favourite but, very good for you. I really love samphire which is a sort of seaside asparagus…. delicious. Like Olympia, we have fish in our diet. It's my favourite and, we eat some sort of fish pretty much everyday. XXXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jackie,
      How interesting that you have eaten laverbread. Our instructor spoke of this. I will be looking for samphire too. Like you, we eat fish almost daily, the wholesale shop is closeby and we are allowed to shop. Tonight is sea bass and last evening was hake.
      Hope you have a delightful weekend Jackie

      Helen x

      Delete
  3. We eat a seaweed salad -- commercially prepared and sold at delis - in Hawaii. I wouldn't have the slightest idea how to harvest and prepare it myself, but I certainly enjoy eating it! Looking forward to learning more of your Search for Seaweed! Hugs, Jackie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jackie
      I think I know of the salad which you speak of and it is delicious. We are looking forward to learning more and to field trips to remote beaches.
      Hope you have a wonderful weekend

      Helenxx

      Delete
  4. What a wonderful holiday, Helen. I know I wouldn't be searching for seaweed, but enjoying the sea so much. This is lovely !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Marsha

      As a child my mother fed us some seaweed, then we moved away from the ocean and would have seaweed when cousins visited and brought us gifts from the sea. It has been superb weather.
      Hope life is great with you. I want some of your fig recipe.
      Helenxx
      Helen

      Delete
  5. Not in Oklahoma, though many wild edible things grow. Gone for a month in Ireland. Lucky you. Please keep us posted. I've never been and would love to see it through your eyes.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hmmmm... your post has reminded me that I bought some seaweed crisps a while ago thinking I'd have them for a healthy snack. So far they have not appealed. Maybe tomorrow...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jenny
      I know what you mean. We sometimes buy an item because it is good for us. Maybe tomorrow....hee hee

      Helenx

      Delete
  7. When we were first married and went to live in Scotland the old lady we rented rooms from swore by seaweed. She would have it freshly delivered to her from the Outer Hebrides and make a dessert similar to junket or panna cotta from it. She went on to live to be 105 years old.
    There is an interesting blog all about seaweed which you might enjoy taking a peek at, as we know there are blogs about most things.
    http://seaweednamara.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Rosemary and of course you, Helen. I began cooking with sea vegetables on a needs must basis because I live on an Island. In winter, the ferries are often held up and the shop shelves are lacking in fruit and vegetables Terrestrial veg don’t like travelling far anyway, so even when they are available they often look weary. Cooking has been on been a trial and error process but Seaweed in the Kitchen (coming soon) evolved with my experimentation. There aren’t hard and fast rules because there aren’t recipe books with didactic instruction, (I like Sally McKenna’s Extreme Greens) and unlike fungi, seaweed isn’t toxic. Some species just aren’t tasty. There are over 10,000 species and only c650 have been identified around British shores. I’m so glad that my husband moved from Angus to take over an Outer Hebridean medical practice – otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to cook with seaweed. I’ve dedicated the book to his patients.

      Delete
    2. Dear Rosemary,
      That your landlady lived to be 105 years is absolutely marvelous and proof of the pudding, so to speak.
      I thank you most sincerely Rosemary for linking me to Fiona's website. It is an absolute delight reading her posts and I am finding it fascinating. Again, thank you most sincerely.
      Did you by chance meet Fiona during your island hopping this summer?

      Helen xx

      Delete
    3. Hello Fiona,
      What a delight to see you visit me so soon and I am very grateful to Rosemary for the introduction. You life sounds idyllic, living in the Outer Hebrides. I want to visit very much and hope to soon.
      Your information on seaweed is intresesting and informative and I know I will be looking forward to reading your future posts and returning time and again. Fiona what is the title of your book?
      Many thanks again and what a beautiful surprise. It reminds me of the old adage, when the student is ready a teacher appears.
      On that note, Miss Fiona I wish you a weekend of joy
      and see you back at class on Monday.

      Helen xx

      Delete
    4. Sadly I didn't meet Fiona, Helen, but she lives on South Uist and we spend time on that island. I am sure Fiona will not mind be mentioning that she was in the final of the programme Masterchef in 2001.

      Delete
  8. Hello dear Helen,
    A very interesting post. I took seaweed in capsule form from the herbal shop for years when i was younger. I had a good friend, who was into eating seaweed. I have also eaten it in a salad.. but prepared. I would think it an aquired taste..but very healthy.
    Beautiful music and a most stunning place is Youghal ..
    Happy seaweed hunting.. val xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Valerie,

      It is a salty taste and while I like some I am sure there are some disagreeable ones. Our Leader is very wise and has experience with seaweed from childhood. I also like that it is a good fertilizer for gardens.
      Glad you liked the music. Hope your weekend is very special
      Helen xx

      Delete
  9. I've never eaten seaweed but I aM sure it's healthy and I should be doing so. Enjoy foraging for seaweed on Ireland's lovely beaches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Loree

      I will keep you posted as I learn more. Foraging and exploring new beaches appeals to us.
      Hope your weekend is joyful
      Helenx

      Delete
  10. Such a beautiful part of the world! In Maine, we often include seaweed when boiling lobsters. Happy October, Helen. Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Loi
      It is a beautiful part of the world and, like Maine, so much to discover.
      I found it interesting to hear that seaweed is used when boiling lobster. It makes perfect sense.
      Hope your beautiful white pumpkins illuminate your life
      Helenxx

      Delete
  11. I had no idea that there are so many kinds of seaweed. What an enchanting place!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jen,
      I had no idea of so many varieties either and now when walking the beach I am constantly inspecting the various varieties and of course seaweed is also seasonal and many I must wait to meet until Spring
      Helen xx

      Delete
  12. What beautiful shores you will be exploring in your hunt for seaweed! Surely, all that beach air will work up an appetite! Good luck with your search and Bon Appetit!

    Happy October!

    xx
    Poppy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Poppy,
      We are looking forward to exploring the new shores, as you say. I have much to learn and will be experimenting with my newly acquired knowledge.
      Have a special weekend
      Helen xx

      Delete
  13. Wow, how exciting to go on a seaweed excursion! Never knew there were so many varieties. I hosted a Japanese Exchange Student and tried it in a soup that she prepared for my family.....

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am also learning and was, like you, amazed at so many varieties of seaweed.
    Japan is a big user of seaweed too. Glad you are settling in in Raleigh.
    Thank you for the good wishes which I return to you
    Helenx

    ReplyDelete
  15. Helen - you have the best adventures. I love the smell of seaweed and I do like to eat dried. I look forward to hear more about what you've learned along your journey. I loved the song by Rita and all the gorgeous scenery. My heart belongs in Ireland! Happy weekend to you x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Deborah
      Thank you and I am always up for an adventure and I have a strong suspicion you are too. I am looking forward to learning more about seaweed. My little garden here is in a sad shape and the soil is in need of seaweed fertilization. I want to keep it organic.
      Have a wonderful week

      Helen xx

      Delete
  16. Huge fan of seaweed Helen. Some are packed full with iron and so good for you. Have you ever tried Laverbread?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Paul
      I have yet to taste laverbread and I look forward to learning more experimenting with recipes.
      Next week we have a field trip which should be fun.

      Have a great week

      Helen xx

      Delete
  17. I have not tried seaweed Helen, you are inspiring me though!! Love the Longfellow poetry.What an amazing trip!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello Karena
    Lovely to see your smiling face today and thank you for visiting. Happy you enjoyed Longfellow. Poems about the sea touch us.

    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  20. No, Helen - I did never include seaweed in my diet but I would like to try it! It sounds like I have to take a trip to the Outer Hebrides! I have been to the Inner Hebrides April 2013 but it has since remained a dream to visit the OH as well! There is a lot of magic about it for me! Well who knows... may be soon... I will try to dedicate a post to you, Helen regarding my trip to wonderful Ireland this summer. But it still has to mature a bit. I hope you are well - I enjoyed the poem, the song and in your previous post the beautiful tableau with your dog! So great! Christa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Christa, I so agree with you the Outer Hebrides sound enchanting. I will be looking forward to your post on Ireland, your travels always have adventure and joy
      Lovely to see you back blogging again and I love your visits

      Helen x.

      Delete
  21. No seaweed here but I thoroughly enjoyed your photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How kind of you to visit and thank you for your comment

      Helen xx

      Delete
  22. Oops, somehow I missed this fascinating post, Helen. How wonderful to be able to forage by the sea for nutritious seaweed. I have only eaten it on crackers, but would love to try it fresh, in the ways other commenters mention. How beautiful your photos are, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Patricia
      I am learning about the various types of seaweed and the joy and fun in foraging is one that we all enjoy. Our dog absolutely loves chewing on kelp stumps. I made a squash soup today and added some seaweed and must say it was delicious.
      Have a great week

      Helen xx

      Delete
  23. So love the glimpses of your Irish life Helen. Mention of seaweed brings my back to around the age of five when I would find my favourite rocks by the sea, draped in seaweed. I loved to play 'mermaid'....wrapping and covering my legs as I perched myself on top of the rock where I could happily sit until the tide rolled in. Everytime I see seaweed that memory comes back to me. I was a happy little mermaid. :) Best wishes for a lovely weekend Helen.. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jean

      What a beautiful image of you as a child pretending to be a mermaid. I can see you in those sandles made with sea spaghetti and kelp.
      It is a fascinating subject and there is much to learn. When you visit Ireland I will take you foraging.
      Enjoy your visit to HK

      Helen xx

      Delete
  24. Hi Helen, thank you for your much appreciated comment today! Wishing you a lovely and happy week too! Christa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Christa
      It is a delight to see you post again.
      Fond wishes
      Helen xx

      Delete
  25. Hi Helen .. I wrote about "Mother of the Sea" as the lady who discovered more about seaweeds .. whose studies were recognised in Japan - hence the name.

    Seaweed is an amazing plant - and natural for us to collect along our sea-shore .. my grandfather used to use it on the garden, and we've used it for keeping greenfly at bay ... and I do enjoy eating it - but it's not normally in my diet.

    Cheers Hilary

    PS I haven't forgotten about Youghal - thought I'd found the answer, but no it wasn't the right person ... one day!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Hilary, Sorry for delay in responding, I have been out foraging and drying seaweed and heaven knows my kitchen looks like a lab,
      I will await to hear of the Youghal blogger.

      Hope the weather is pleasant where you are
      Helen xx

      Delete
  26. Yes, I DO!!! I'm not getting my seaweed from the shores but do go to Whole Foods for my seaweed nutrition :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Becky,

      It is infinitely more reasonable here by the shore than Whole Foods. Glad to hear they stock seaweed
      Have a great week

      Helen xx

      Delete
  27. Good morning Helen, thank you for your kind comment on my post about the Hydrangea wreath! Are you well? My post about the Moran Cottage is still "work in progress.." ;o) Have a good day! Christa

    ReplyDelete
  28. I've been trying it in Japan and I like it better than I did!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jenny

      This is another good reason why I must go to Japan.

      Enjoy your stay

      Helenx

      Delete
    2. I think that it's a question of experimenting. Some species are stronger than others :-)

      Delete
    3. Hello Fiona
      Thank you for this comment. You certainly are an authority on seaweed and the different varieties. I love your recent post Fiona.

      Helenx

      Delete
  29. Hello Christa
    I will be looking forward to reading your post on Moran's of the Weir. It is a magical place.

    Helen x

    ReplyDelete
  30. Nice post, things explained in details. Thank You.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Nice post, Critical things are explained in details. I appreciate it. Thanks

    ReplyDelete