Edible Seaweeds and shellfish^

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Mike Marshall
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Edible Seaweeds and shellfish^

Post by Mike Marshall » Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:47 pm

Strange one I know, but I am seriously interested in learning about the above.
I cant seem to find any books on the subject.
Anyone got any pointers?

MikeM

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Helen M
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Post by Helen M » Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:14 pm

While camping on an island on Loch Ailort we found a rockpool with mussels in. These were duly collected in a tilley hat (thanks Mike) and then steamed and eaten. Am sure these could have been titalised somewhat - but how? Would it have involved some sacrificial wine? Cause I don't know that I could have done that!

No books - but I'm sure people here will have a wealth of information.

H - x

PS - the woman at the tourist information office at Lochmaddy harvests seaweed from the Monach Islands and sells it in the shop. Phone: + 44 (0)1876 500321 (although it may not be open yet as it is seasonal). I bought some - complete with recipe sheet for a friend. Unfortunately they have eaten the seaweed and I haven't a clue what has happened to the recipe sheet.

ianzippy
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Post by ianzippy » Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:34 pm

Hi Mike, seaweed wise, all are allegedly edible to a greater or lesser palatability. Have tried most myself, with no ill effects. Some (sea lettuce (Ulva Lactuca) and gutweed (enteromorpha intestinalis)) are best just rinsed and eaten raw or lightly boiled or dried. Other more fibrous ones like some of the bladderwracks and oarweed types need more cooking, and even then don't set the taste buds alight! Some traditionally are used as a source of Alginate, so can be used to thicken stuff like stews if wanted.
One thing to watch is that one species which looks like a seaweed is strictly speaking an algae (so i've been led to believe) and best avoided, so positive identification of the edible ones is probably the way to go.

Shellfish things, if you're confident they're from a reasonably unpolluted area are pretty good too. Winkles and limpets are grazers, so don't tend to concentrate any toxins, compared with mussels and other filter feeders, but mussels taste better (IMHO).

Have a look at some of Ray Mears books for info on the shelled things and Richard Mabey - Food for Free is very good on the seaweeds.

Lots of good things to eat along the shoreline too - scurvy grass, silverweed, sorrels etc.

Hope this helps, Ian
"Love many, Trust few, Learn to paddle your own canoe / kayak (delete as appropriate)"

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Mike Marshall
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Edibles!!

Post by Mike Marshall » Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:38 pm

Thanks Ian,
Most informative!!!

MikeM

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:56 pm

This is venturing dangerously into beardie weirdie territory, but...

My wife knows a worrying amount about this sort of thing, and we once ate a glorious dish of garlic mussels near Callanish Stone Circle. To judge by our bookshelves, Richard Mabey is indeed your man...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Mabey

I'll get her to post something up later.
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

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Mike Marshall
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Richard Mabey

Post by Mike Marshall » Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:03 pm

THanks all!
Just ordered the book off Amazon!!

MikeM

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:05 pm

Now where did I overhear a discussion about whether or not the herring gull strutting around outside was protected or not, and therefore whether or not it was fair game for the pot? I think it was in the Hotel in Cromarty last week, but I'm struggling to place which guests were having the conversation (there weren't many, and it wasn't me).

How do we determine which sealife (flora and fauna) it is legal to cook up? I have a feeling that Kelp (to get back to subject) is also protected and is now considered rare in the British Isles (it's not rare at the falls of lora!).

JIM

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Post by naefearjustbeer » Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:26 pm

Not sure about identifing what is edible or not. I guess you could eat pretty much anything. The after effects might vary wildy though. The one thing I do no is that I wouldnt eat anything from a stretch of water that has salmon cages. I know a few divers that have had food poisoning from eating fresh scallops from such areas, Aparently the water around these cages is heavily poluted with fish sewage and all sorts of nasties from the food that the fish didnt eat

Jon Wood
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Post by Jon Wood » Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:59 am

I must admit some of the bunnies running riot over certain Scottish islands look rather tasty.

I can also vouch for fried sea lettuce (served with cod fillets!)

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maryinoxford
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Post by maryinoxford » Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:27 pm

Jon Wood wrote:I must admit some of the bunnies running riot over certain Scottish islands look rather tasty.
Around 20 years ago, for a TV show, a tv reporter was marooned on the Garvellachs for a couple of weeks. He'd had some survival training, including setting rabbit snares, so I guess it's legal - may need the owner's permission.

(In his two weeks, the reporter caught ONE rabbit. Mostly he lived on shellfish, blackberries and a few small fish - I can't remember about seaweed. He lost a stone in weight, and he wasn't very fat to start with.)

Mary
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Pingu
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Post by Pingu » Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:02 pm

Food for Free by Richard Mabey (Collins) is an excellent rescource. There's seaweeds and a whole load of other stuff to eat if you spend some time forraging around camp. Nettle soup mmmmm!!!

By the way...
ianzippy wrote: One thing to watch is that one species which looks like a seaweed is strictly speaking an algae.
... all seaweeds are algae!

ianzippy
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Post by ianzippy » Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:29 pm

Suddenly it makes sense - algae = alginate

Shows what i know - in the words of a friend of mine "everydays a school day"

Thanks Pingu!
"Love many, Trust few, Learn to paddle your own canoe / kayak (delete as appropriate)"

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Post by andreadawn » Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:59 pm

Jennifer Hahn in 'Spirited Waters' seems quite keen on eating anything found in the sea.

She mentions a book called 'Seaweeds at Ebb Tide' by Dr. Muriel Guberlet. You can find it quite cheaply on Amazon (used), although I think it's concerned exclusively with N. American shores.

'Collins Pocket Guide to the Sea Shore of Britain and Northern Europe' is good for identification if you don't already have it.

Andrea.

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Post by Owen » Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:17 pm

Another good book; if a bit big to take out kayaking is "Wild Food" by Roger Phillips. Published by Pan Books, ISBN 0-330-28069-4.

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Pingu
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Post by Pingu » Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:03 pm

Another great book for ID is "The Students Guide to the Sea Shore" by Dr John Fish.

Dr. Fish (great name for a Marine Biologist!!!) is the Director of Biological Sciences and Senior lecturer in Marine Biology at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Used in combination with the Collins Guides already mentioned, and anybody forraging along the beach and amoungst the rockpools can't go far wrong with identification.

Good faraging to all, but beware the deadly black wrack!!!

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:02 pm

maryinoxford wrote:
Jon Wood wrote:I must admit some of the bunnies running riot over certain Scottish islands look rather tasty.
Around 20 years ago, for a TV show, a tv reporter was marooned on the Garvellachs for a couple of weeks. He'd had some survival training, including setting rabbit snares, so I guess it's legal - may need the owner's permission.
Not sure what the current standings are, but my understanding is that the "rabbit" is not indigenous to the British Isles, but was introduced by the Romans, who brought them with them for food. It should be clear how they became quite so widespread, after all rabbits do breed like rabbits.

Anyway, my suspiscion is that they will not be protected in any way (what would be the point even if they were indigenous?) by law, and are in no danger of extinction (a food source that multiplies faster than you can harvest it?). I also have a feeling they may be classified as vermin so eating them may actually be totally acceptable.

Do be careful to avoid Hares though, since these are indigenous and I think protected, and I believe not as common as they should be. Someone is bound to know more?

I also suspect that if stormbound on an island short of food, the local Poliss is not going to take the slightest interest in whether or not you eat some of the fauna, particularly fluffy bunnies. In fact in such a situation I fail to see how the local Poliss is even going to know you are eating the fauna, unless he is stormbound with you, in which case he'll be in the same boat, or not since if you could go in the boat you wouldn't be stormbound. Lost myself now!

JIM

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Mike Marshall
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Bunnies!!

Post by Mike Marshall » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:22 pm

Jim,
Are you posting after the PUB??
lool

MikeM

andreadawn
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Post by andreadawn » Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:51 pm

Best post I've read in a while Jim!

According to Stefan Buczacki in Fauna Britannica, about 300,000 Hares were shot in 2000, so I guess they're not protected.

These are the Brown Hare, which is largely replaced by the Mountain Hare in the north of Scotland and the islands. I don't know about the protected status of the Mountain Hare, but Hares in general can do a lot of damage to crops, just like Rabbits. Apparently, Mountain Hares are 'good and enthusiastic swimmers and have been known to venture across really rough sea'.

Andrea.

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Food for free

Post by seatiger1 » Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:07 pm

Yuo want to get the book "Food for Free" by Richard Mabey, try amazon.co.uk

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Douglas Wilcox
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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:09 pm

Jim's got the right idea. Give me a vertebrate with my chips anytime!
Image
Douglas :o)

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:42 pm

andreadawn wrote:Best post I've read in a while Jim!

According to Stefan Buczacki in Fauna Britannica, about 300,000 Hares were shot in 2000, so I guess they're not protected.
Thanks!

I knew someone would know more! So all fluffy bunny like critters can be considered fair game as survival food, or perhaps even for every day cuisine?

I wonder how Phil is getting on with the harpoons??? Time to check BCC board methinks!

JIM

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Post by Jon Wood » Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:02 am

Douglas Wilcox wrote:Jim's got the right idea. Give me a vertebrate with my chips anytime!
Image
Douglas :o)
I assume that wasn't landed onto your Quest using a handline. The biggest fish I have landed was this:

Image

The Anglesey symposium has a seminar on living off the land & sea:

"Survival (Intermediate) : Fish from the kayak and learn what can be eaten from the shore line"
Anyone care to write a report? Sadly I can't attend.

Still, sometimes you get tired of fish. Bring on the bunnies..

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Post by Owen » Sun Apr 02, 2006 11:08 am

That seminar is down every year but it hardly ever happens; its become something of a standing joke.

I went to the first symposium at Anglesey, back in the stoneage, Martin Melling ran a fishing from kayaks lession. Probably the most useful couple of hours at any of the symposium I've attended.

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Sun Apr 02, 2006 11:46 am

Helen M wrote:While camping on an island on Loch Ailort we found a rockpool with mussels in. These were duly collected in a tilley hat (thanks Mike) and then steamed and eaten. Am sure these could have been titalised somewhat - but how? Would it have involved some sacrificial wine? Cause I don't know that I could have done that!
Indeed - a most pleasant snack as I recall! I think I used sea-water as the steaming medium. The only other time I've done things to mussels involved a sauce made with garlic, cream cheese and white wine. As I recall, the whole lot curdled but by adding a small amount of instant soup mix it was rescued. I then added rather a lot of Jamesons to the mix and it was rather yummy.

Mackerel fillets cooked on a Trangia and washed down with Guinness is rather good too. Or grilled over an open fire. Mmmm.

Rabbits - now there's a thing - eons ago I used to shoot a bit and bagged the odd bunny. The thing is, they really need to hang for a week or so before cooking. They are also very dry meat but that can be fixed with some bacon wrapped round them.

Oysters! Thats the best! No cooking - - - Mind you, of the last dozen I had, only 1 worked - - -

Mike.

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Pelagic
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Post by Pelagic » Sun Apr 02, 2006 12:50 pm

Remember Mike,
Only eat shellfish when theres an "R" in the month. Dont know why, but my mum told me so it must be right.

Phil

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Sun Apr 02, 2006 2:05 pm

Pelagic wrote:Remember Mike,
Only eat shellfish when theres an "R" in the month. Dont know why, but my mum told me so it must be right.

Phil
When were we there Helen? Summer as I recall - anyway, a little Googling produced this depressing, but seemingly credible piece of work - however, I've survived 30 years of eating stuff from the sea, and drinking water from burns - so I'll just keep on doing it I think.

Seriously though - my frequent visits to hotels around this fair land often leave me with an unpleasant reminder of my visit several days later! I've yet to suffer after a paddling trip other than once having forgotten to clean my Platypus system before a trip and getting an upset stomach as a result of ingesting something nasty that had grown in the tube.


Mike.

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Helen M
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Post by Helen M » Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:18 pm

Mike.
When were we there Helen?
June 2003 - my very first sea kayak long weekend paddle/camp experience! Vey memorable. My first mussels as well.

Tried my first Oysters last year in the Outer Hebrides - also very tasty!

Will maybe read up some more and do a bit of bonding with Mr Mears.

Watch this space!

H - x

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Pingu
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Post by Pingu » Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:24 am

Pelagic wrote:Remember Mike,
Only eat shellfish when theres an "R" in the month. Dont know why, but my mum told me so it must be right.

Phil
An old wives tale with a bit of truth in it...

A lot of the shellfish that we consider edible are filter feeders, e.g. mussels, cockles etc. These filter out small food particles, e.g dinoflagellates, and other organic matter suspended in the water column.

These dinoflagellates release neurotoxins and other poisenous chemicals as a defense mechanism against being eaten by the zooplankton, but this has little or no effect on the larger filter feeders, where it is likely to accumulate. In normal quantities, these toxins would have little effect on Humans who eat the shellfish as the quantities are far to low. However...

If environmental conditions are right then these dinoflagellates in the phytoplankton can reach vast numbers and form what are known as "Algal Blooms". The toxins are now present in large enough quantities to causes servere illness or even death. The toxins in question belong to a group of chemicals known as saxitoxins which cause respiratory paralysis and other effects in mammals, known as paralytic shellfish poisoning

What is the connection I hear you say? Well these algae blooms are most likely to occur when there is no 'R' in the month i.e. May to August.

As with everything though, this is a very general rule of thumb and should not be relyed upon.

Unless you collected your filter feeding shellfish from waters designated with 'A' class water quality, then I would sugest that you submit the shellfish to at least 24 hours of depuration in clean water.

Enjoy your dinner!

Tony.

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Pelagic
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Post by Pelagic » Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:14 pm

An old wives tale with a bit of truth in it...
Hey! a bit more respect for my mum please Tony.............:-)

Phil

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Post by Jon Wood » Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:38 pm

It looks like we will be doing everyone a favour if we put a rabbit in the pot, at least in Shetland:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4895740.stm

Where do we collect our bounty?

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