Apr 092017
 

Carrageen moss is a delicacy of the Irish people and their traditional food.  It got its name from the Carrageen village where it was the most flourishing industry.  It’s a colourful food as its tiny fans of purple, pink and cream colours are enough to attract people towards it.  Carrageen is  gathered from the southern and western coastal lines for its marketing value and to enjoy it as a nutritious and delicious food item. It can be used in varied forms preferably in soups, stews and puddings.

In past times many people living on the coastal areas were using Carrageen Moss for its medicinal value having it with hot milk and honey as a treatment for the sore throat however this trend is still going on as they are taking it for curing several stomach problems and sleepless nights.

Now people are less enamoured with this variety of seaweed but in the places like Ballyandreen, carrageen moss recipes are still favourites and you can find carrageen drying in their homes.  It is still very much a part of their tradition.

However for many of us who still love to have carrageen for its taste and its nutritious value, you can order from us here at www.DulseOnline.co.uk and can also read below the simplest carrageen moss recipe (carrageen moss pudding with Blue berries) to prepare at home.

Carrageen moss Pudding with Blue berries

Essential Components:

•    850 ml milk
•    8 grams of dried Carrageen moss
•    One Egg
•    1/2 table spoon vanilla essence, pure preferred
•    One table spoon of Caster sugar
•    Blueberries
•    soft ice cream or soft whipped cream
•    soft brown sugar

Procedure:

Keep the carrageen dipped in water for ten minutes, drain the water and put the carrageen in the saucepan along with the milk. Bring the contents to boiling point and simmer it well with the lid for a complete twenty minutes.  Now separate the yolk from the egg in the bowl, mix it with the sugar and vanilla essence and whisk the mix for a few seconds.  Now pour that hot carrageen and milk mix on to the egg yolk mixture through a strainer but keep on whisking all the time.  You will soon find carrageen swollen and oozing out jelly.  Sieve the jelly via the strainer and beat the same into the milk.  Test it in a saucer for its softness.  In the case it is a little too soft then add a little more milk and put more carrageen through the strainer. Whisk stiffly the white portion of the egg to make a fluffy top and fold it in the gentlest way into the milk mixture with a whisk. Now let it cool down and then chill it until it gets set. But just before it is ready to serve, crush the blueberries, sprinkle caster sugar and then mix them well. Then serve the carrageen along with the berries, and cream and sprinkle the same with the soft brown sugar for different flavours.  Yum!

Now your carrageen moss pudding with Blue berries is ready to serve.  Delicious.  You can experiment with different carrageen moss recipe to fully utilize its value as the most delicious and nutritious food.

Comments?

Have you tried this recipe?  How was it?  If you have any variations you made please let us know below.

Feb 262017
 

Why we should grow and eat more seaweed

It’s one of the healthiest, most versatile ‘weeds’ around. Asian countries have enjoyed the benefits for centuries. So where is the market for homegrown UK seaweed?

Was ever a group of aquatic plants more inaptly named? True, they’re found in the sea, but the likes of kelp, dulse, laver, badderlocks, carrageen and tangle are so much more than weeds.

Seaweed, in fact, is something of an über underwater vegetable, with all the health-giving properties of any land-lubber superfood.

Already identified as a rich potential source of biomass energy, research by the Scottish Association for Marine Science has suggested that Scotland could develop its own aquaculture industry and grow seaweed as a sustainable biofuel. In 2005, Japan began piloting waterborne seaweed farms designed to absorb greenhouse gases before being harvested as biomass.

The Philippines has unveiled plans to extract ethanol from seaweed on a 100-hectare site, while earlier this year a Norwegian company patented a floating structure to cultivate seaweed on an industrial scale out to sea, calculating that just 0.05 per cent of European coastal regions could yield 75 million tonnes of seaweed a year and 3.2 billion litres of ethanol.

Seaweed can also be used as an agricultural and horticultural fertiliser, as a mineral-rich animal feed, as a bath, a shampoo, facial scrub and moisturiser…

The one thing we don’t appear to do to any great extent in the UK is eat the stuff.

Eating British seaweed

But why not? With 650 edible varieties growing along the UK’s 11,000 miles of coastline, it’s a vast, healthy, organic and as yet untapped food resource. There’s also money in it: in 2002, the seaweed industry was worth £4 billion, with world production at 11.5 million tonnes. Most of it is grown and consumed in Asia, however, with France, Europe’s only commercial grower of any size, accounting for a paltry 35 tonnes.

According to Mark Turner of SeaVeg, a company that harvests and sells a range of seaweed (or ‘sea vegetable’) products from County Donegal in Ireland, successful commercial cultivation depends on one thing: the presence of a market. He says that while seaweed-growing has been trialled on certain UK fish farms, it hasn’t been linked to demand from consumers.

As it is, what in the Orient – China, Japan and South Korea in particular – is lapped up as a luxury simply doesn’t feature in the cultural and culinary history of this small corner of occidental Europe. Wales has its laver bread, of course (actor Richard Burton called it ‘Welshman’s caviar’) and Ireland its carrageen seaweed pudding, but for all the considerable combined coastal length of the British Isles, seaweed is eaten on a disproportionately small scale.

Large-scale seaweed farming

Having established that people want to eat their produce, prospective phycological farmers will need somewhere to grow their crop. Since the seabed is the property of the Crown estates and the coastline is the responsibility of local authorities, getting permission for a large-scale seaweed farming enterprise would be one of the major obstacles. Turner says too that environmental concerns may ironically be another barrier to the promotion of this eco friendly foodstuff.

‘Since it was announced that oil companies had an interest in harvesting seaweed to process for oils, the conservationist lobby has sought to have all areas of coastline protected. As a result there is more interest in prohibiting aquaculture than in promoting it. As a result the only remaining possibilities are onshore or offshore farming. For onshore farming, seawater must be pumped into tanks on land where the seaweed is grown, as is the case with organic fish. Offshore farming might be viable when offshore wind farms are constructed, as the best edible seaweeds need very oxygenated water, often found growing on rocky outcrops that cause foaming waves.’

The seaweed industry is thriving in Ireland, says Turner, partly as a result of having state support, but also because of the clean Atlantic waters that lap the Emerald Isle. Britain’s coastal waters are polluted by comparison (though nothing like as badly as the waters off China, where the lion’s share of global seaweed stocks are grown – nine million tonnes a year).

Article reprinted courtesy of The Ecologist