BCC Foraging‎ > ‎

2011-04-29

Location - Adur River paddling a short distance north from Cuckoo Corner - Mark H and Mark L

It's been a long hot April and we have missed a few attempts to meet up and see what's growing. However today, thanks to the Royal Wedding Bank Holiday, a couple of us Kayaked up a tidal section of the Adur to see what edible bites all the warm sunshine had brought out!

Marsh Samphire - This bright green plant was shooting up through the salty mud where the tide had drawn back a little. It ran up to almost a solid line of Sea Purslane and Maritime Plantain higher up the mud. Out of the water on the banks we found flourishing crops of Sea Beet (see our March forage - it's around all year in one state or another), Nettles, White Dead Nettles and even a Sea Pea or two.

  • Marsh Samphire - we tasted these young shoots on the mudflat and found it very salty. Later (washed) it was still a little salty at first but changed to a pleasant taste with a hint of something familiar. The spring is the best season to try this plant - it's woody state later in the year makes it unpalatable.
  • Sea Purslane - This is on the mudflats all year and is a really tasty plant, having no overpowering flavour, but nor is it entirely bland. Ignore the salty taste at first, it soon disappears.
  • Maritime Plantain - the common land plantains are not only edible in their entireity, but are also really tasty, especially the seed heads, so it was with much excitement that we found the purslane interspersed with this maritime version of an old favourite. It had a stronger flavour than the other plants we'd tried, but was still pleasant.
  • Sea Beet - today we ate some younger leaves. They are often suggested as salad leaves, and that seems to fit the bill.
  • White Dead Nettle - I'd never eaten this before, only the stinging variety. The pinched tips tasted like the worst kind of greens to me, but Mark L suggested the best option was deep frying in batter. I'm not going to disagree with him!
  • Sea Pea - there were no peas yet, but the leaves are edible and taste remarkably like peas!
Comments