Creathnach, for centuries, with its versatile qualities and 56 nutrient contents, has been the preferred delicacy and palatable delight for inhabitants living along the western coasts of Canada, Ireland and other Northern European countries. Now its influence is reaching all over the world.
Belonging to the family of red algae, Creathnach resembles the shape of a hand and so got its name Palmaria palmata. Abundant in Vitamins B6, B12 and Vitamins C, E and A, natural iodine, calcium, magnesium, protein and dietary fibre, its properties are many as it can be used in multiple forms. People love to cherish it in different forms and it can also be added as the most important ingredient in many dishes. Some may like it as snacks in the form of flakes or powder while others may turn it into crispy chips by frying it in the pan. Moreover if you really love this delicacy as a baked product, you can keep it in the oven with fillings of cheese with salsa and microwave it too. To add liveliness and change to your daily sandwiches, bread or pizza dough and in even chowders and salads, some Dulse added can increase the taste of your meals. Soups and breads are mixed with the seaweed to give it a saltier flavour and are often used in potato and cheese dishes.
With so many nutritious traits, Creathnach thrives in cool waters along the Atlantic Coast of Canada, Ireland and Norway. We can see them growing in abundant on rocks, shells and reefs attracting visitors to its delectable taste. Their growing season is from June to September when they bloom to their full for everyone’s delight. They can be plucked straight from the rocks and eaten fresh, but now they are also grown, harvested and packaged for its market value. After harvesting, they look like fronds with its colours ranging from rose to reddish purple and height 20 to 40 cm. Farmers generally pluck them by hand when the water is at its lowest level, keep them for drying in the drying fields and make them to pass through shaker to remove snails, shell pieces or any other unwanted materials. They are then turned to the large bales to be finally sent for packaging.
People towards the west coast of Ireland love Dulse as one of their favourite traditional foods. It is made available to them as snacks through family, through small shops and private vendors. In the past they also used Dulse for preparing cereals and eating with porridge.