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Seaweed is all around us. All around the coast, obviously.
For a long time, it just grew there, except for the odd picker, acting out of a folk memory, of dillisk and carrageen moss. And then came the odd purposeful forager. Some became authors, spreading the knowledge, among them Prannie Rhatigan, Marie Power and Sally McKenna.
And then the seaweed and plants from the shore began to find their way onto restaurants plates, in all kinds of dishes, from starters to mains to desserts. Food producers too, including bakers such as Arbutus, took it up. Indeed, I enjoyed a gorgeous Nori bread in O’Dowd’s of Roundstone (Connemara) recently.
It looks like the march of plants from the sea and the shore is very much on. Next step is to get it from the plate on the restaurant to the plate in the kitchen at home. And that step will surely be aided by a product I came across at the recent Cork Kerry Food Forum in the Cork City Hall, seaweed salad that is our Taste of the Week.
The company based at the Rubicon Centre, on the CIT Campus, is called Healthy You and the products seem to be aimed at “busy people on the go, the elderly, teenage school children or sports enthusiasts”. At present, they have two products available: Ginger Seaweed Salad and Sesame Seaweed Salad.
For three euro, I bought one of the 100g packs of Sesame Seaweed, after a little tasting of course. These salads may be enjoyed on their own or as a component in a meal with other elements and, helpfully, Healthy You have recipes http://www.seaweedsalads.ie/?page_id=14 on their website.
Indeed, if you use the term seaweed salad recipes, you’ll get a great catch from all over the world. Basically though, we used a salad with big prawns and couscous, cucumber, red onion and roasted red peppers, not exactly the stir-fry on the site. It worked very well indeed, lovely flavours and textures and, especially, a lovely crunch and taste from the seaweed.