An introduction to several key members of the allium family for foragers – their identification, distribution, mindful harvesting, dangerous look-alikes, nutritional properties and cooking/preservation techniques.
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The wracks make up most of the green-brown mat that lies in the high to mid tidal range, and as such, are most commonly encountered by the average coastal explorer. Although each has some interesting culinary uses, they are mostly responsible for the poor image of seaweed as a food source that pervades the UK.
Sugar kelp is closely related to Saccharina japonica, the (farmed) seaweed basis of nearly all Japanese dashi, and can be used in similar ways – adding umami to soups, stews and stocks.
Gutweed is not so good to eat raw, but has great flavour once dried or deep fried, whereby it tastes like dry sea lettuce or the crispy seaweed often used in Japanese cuisine. Sprinkle it on salads, sushi or finished dishes like seasoning…
A very distinctive and tasty seaweed – up to 2m long yellowy brown spaghetti-like fronds, dividing near the base, growing from small, button-like holdfasts.