All you need to know to get you started foraging for edible seaweeds. Includes distribution charts, nutritional information, harvesting strategies, recipe ideas and an in depth guide to the most rewarding species.
There are over 1500 members of the carrot/parsley – or more correctly – apiaceae – family worldwide, and around 100 varieties in the UK. Including well known delights such as fennel, coriander, dill, parsley, and celery, and also some notoriously toxic species like hemlock and hemlock water-dropwort, this family presents some major gastronomic – and catastrophic – opportunities for foragers
“Tis a well known fact that most men are born two drinks below par.” – Compton MacKenzie, Whisky Galore
In recognition of this universal (if unfairly gendered) truth, humans have enjoyed alcoholic stimulation from wild plants for very nearly as long as they have been eating them. Ever since our distant ancestors recognised the uplifting effects of over-ripe fruit (and decided they outweighed the depressing effects), much of humankind has been caught in a love affair with alcohol that has reached a startling level of complexity.
A wee slip up with a deadly plant got me thinking… How scared should we be of poisoning ourselves with wild plants and fungi? And are we more likely to kill ourselves with things we buy in the shops…?
The want of a decent guidebook can be all that stands between the novice forager and a great meal or a trip to the hospital – or worse. Here I give some general advice on finding the right foraging guidebook…