Wild Food Foraging - Cultivating Skills &
Confidence through Inspiring Forays in Nature

Edible Storm Debri? Sugar Kelp Seaweed after the Storm

I’m often asked;  what seaweed can you eat? What about this stuff (pointing to the piles of spewed up seaweed on the beach that’s been turfed up by the powerful, stormy Winter waves). Hmm, no wonder people are put off eating seaweed.

Not all seaweed is good to eat. Perhaps you’ve heard me say this many a time; pick seaweed that is fresh, cutting it fresh ensures you know how fresh and old it is. The old, decomposing seaweed is good for compost, though not for eating. There is one exception though: After a storm.

Although it is easy to tell decomposing to freshly cut. Personally, I’m still not intimate enough with seaweed to know if seaweed is just freshly broken off by the storm, or has been 2 or 3 days floating at sea. I go by eye, feel and stay on the safe side. In other words, I prefer to harvest seaweed that is attached.

I have many favourite seaweeds (or my favourites keep changing), and one of these is Sugar Kelp (Saccharina latissima), and yes, it is a combination of sweet and salty. I’ve spent many hours at the lowest tides searching for this seaweed, though mostly, it has alluded me. I know it is there in abundance – plenty times have I seen it washed up on the shore, though often it grows just a little deeper than a low, low tide, and I’m not a diver, not even a snorkeler anymore. Though to my my surprise, it was a storm that brought Sugar Kelp closer and fresher to me.

Seaweed needs to be attached, through a ‘holdfast’ (seaweed’s equivalent to a root) in order to live. This could be attached to another seaweed, rocks, stones or shells/shellfish. In this case, the storm had thrown up young Sugar Kelp, attached to small stones, so still living – hurray!

Never had foraging Sugar Kelp felt so easy, and the freshness still guaranteed. Walking along the beach, at a medium low tide, I was able to harvest this seaweed and dry it at home for soups and desserts. Below are Apple and Sugar Kelp Turnovers from my Seaweed book . This seaweed has particularly good amounts of magnesium and calcium, and used to be chewed dried by children as salty ‘sweeties’.

No comments yet

Leave a comment

Other updates

Winter Warming Sloe Treacle Tart - 25 November 2017

Hawthorn Berry Fruit Leather - 13 November 2017

Edible Storm Debri? Sugar Kelp Seaweed after the Storm - 11 October 2017

Rosehip and Custard Tart - 29 October 2016

LAUNCH: New Seaweed Book - 8 June 2016

A Hearty Snack – Savoury Alexander Muffins - 22 February 2016

Cod with Creamy Shellfish and Wild Spices - 5 October 2015

1st Foraging Book for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly - 29 June 2015

Foraging, Yoga and a Paleo Diet - 28 April 2015

Alexanders and Three-Cornered Leek Frittata - 23 March 2015

Foraging on the South West Coast Path - 6 November 2014

What if Everybody Foraged? - 16 July 2014

Delicious Nettle and Honey Cake - 7 April 2014

Valentine Foraging - 5 February 2014

Winter Foraging - 2 January 2014

Foraging Muppets-style - 17 December 2013

Mackerel and Blackberry Salad - 21 September 2013

Elderflower Cordial and Elderflower Sorbet Recipes - 10 July 2013

Comfrey, to eat or not to eat? - 24 June 2013

Corporate Foraging - 2 May 2013

Alternative Wild ‘Asparagus’ - 2 April 2013

Making coffee from cleaver/goosegrass seeds - 5 February 2013

Wild Swimming & Christmas Chocolates - 26 December 2012

Wild Apple Curd & Hogweed Seed Meringue Pie - 2 November 2012

Making Rosehip Fruit Leather - 29 October 2012

Wild Berries in Austria - 27 September 2012

Catching the last of the Elderflowers… - 23 July 2012

Eclectic Foragers & Spaghetti Seaweed - 1 July 2012

Mad March Spring Foraging - 1 April 2012

I’m in Love with Nettles! - 12 March 2012

Plant inspired Poetry – Common Sorrel - 22 February 2012