Dulse (Dillisk)

Picking Dillisk

Picking Dillisk

Dulse, usually called Dillisk in Ireland, is a red seaweed found on granite rocks on the Atlantic coast of Ireland, Scotland, Iceland and parts of Canada.  It is a popular snack in Ireland, and used as a food supplement in Canada and Iceland.

Dulce is usually eaten raw, either straight from the sea, or dried into crispy bites.  It has many other names, including dilsk, dillisk, sol, red dillisk or red dulse, sea lettuce, or creathnach.  The latin name is Palmaria palmata, and it is technically a type of algae known as Rhodophyta.

If you are from the West coast of Ireland the chances are that you are already a huge fan of Dulse.  Dillisk forms an essential part of the culture of the region.  From an early age children will know to be up early on the full moon and will go with their parents to the remote, storm-swept rocks off the coast of Donegal, where they pluck bag after bag of the seaweed off the rocks.  Dulse is easy to pick, but is inaccessible.,  Without the very low tide that a full moon or a new moon provides, it is just not possible to get enough of it to make the trip worthwhile.

As soon as you arrive home with the wet dulse from the sea, it is essential to dry it well as quickly as possible.  Even a day left in a plastic bag while wet will cause the Dillisk to rot, and the smell of Dulce that is starting to go off is nauseating.

So long as it is well dried Dulse can be kept for many months without degradation.  If left around in an Irish household it is not likely to last more than a few days as the whole family tucks in.

As well as eating Dulse in its dried form there are many recipes that you can use to cook with Dulse.  The most common is to add it to soups, where the strong iodine and salt content add deep flavour and nutrients to the soup.

Where to pick Dulse

mount charlesThe best places to pick Dillisk (Dulce) are on the more inaccessible coastal areas.  In particular Donegal in Ireland has some fantastic rocks.  Anywhere that has large rocky surfaces will work well, but some of the better areas include Malinbeg, Glencolmcille, and Killybegs on the southern coast of Donegal, the Aran Islands, and County Galway.

 Posted by at 6:14 pm

  25 Responses to “Dulse (Dillisk)”

  1. hi there,

    would you be interested in talking about seaweeds with us. we are the biggest seaweed producer in ireland. dillisk, carrageen, kombu, sugar kelp, wakame, peri winkles. we suply all health food shops in ireland.

  2. I will be in Donegal (Ballybofey area) tomorrow for 4 days. can you tell me where I can buy some Dulse while i am there please?

    Many thanks,


  3. Can I buy the dillisk online??

  4. Hi – Unfortunately we are out of stock at the moment.

    As Dulse is only great to eat when it is fresh and well dried we get it in batches. I’m over in Ireland in just over two month’s time so am hoping to return with some fresh supplies.

    Until then some of the other Dulse suppliers are listed at the side of this page so you could try them. But please check back soon. Ours is the best!

  5. Never tried dulse – in fact I didn’t know what it was until I came accross this site. But I’m just wondering – dulse or dulce sound like Spanish for ‘sweet’, does it mean its taste is sweet? does its name have a Spanish origin?
    Thank you!

  6. hi i am wondering how much is it to buy some fresh dulse, just enough for personal use

  7. what moon is best for picking dulse

  8. Jean – To pick Dulse it needs to be either a full moon or a new moon. Don’t listen to anyone that tells you one is better than the other. Both create the strongest tides and expose the lowest rocks.

  9. H there
    I used to depend on family to ring Dulce when they visit me. Now they have all gone I would like to become a legitimate supplier formaster reseller of dulce. So how much does it cost and what cots are likely to supply legal dulce to the Irish Communities which like he indian communities have their cultures here with them?

    Kind regards

    Roberta Tozer

  10. came across this site by accident, was looking for information on gathering whelks/cockles for my son, like i did with my dad 50 yrs ago. cant for the life of me remember where in the west of scotland it was but i do remember it wasnt saltcoats ‘causa the sewage pipe.
    dulce takes me back, lovely memorys of whe nmy dad returned on a saturday from the “barras” in glasgow with half a dozen small paper backs bursting with salty goodness.
    any info on how i can get some would be much appreciated folks.

    ps, tried the welsh “lava bread”, yuck, aint doing that again lol.

    many thanks for reading, jim

  11. How do I order and could you tell me prices please

  12. Can I have dulse sent to Australia for personal use?

  13. Sir
    Could you give me a price for dulse flakes per kilo.

    Many Thanks

  14. Just want to buy Dulse online as I was brought up with it in Donegal,Uncle’s brought lot’s back after a day fishing and dry it out the back,best Dulse ever tasted in my life beasties and all.I live in Germany ,not sure if you deliver as not one web site I have seen make it easy to just pick a product and order.

  15. If you are interested in topic: make money online fast free and easy – you
    should read about Bucksflooder first

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