Oct 172017
 

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.

Apr 162017
 
Bonner's Corner Bar - Ballybofey, Ireland

Bonner's Corner Bar - Ballybofey, Co Donegal

Ballybofey, in County Donegal, is a typical Donegal town, with a lively music and bar scene.  Many will know it as a pass-through on the drive from Belfast to Donegal, via Strabane.  But the town itself is well worth a visit. The people are known to be particularly friendly and it has a very Donegal feel, despite being only a short drive from the border with Northern Ireland.

If you are looking to get some Dillisk in Ballobofey then so far as I know there are no suitable local rocks to pick it from.  However you are likely to find some in the local shops if you look around.  One shop that sells Dillisk in Ballybofey is Alexanders.

If you know any other shops selling Dulse in Ballybofey please leave a comment below to help future visitors.

Apr 022017
 

A quick update to say that we are running very low of Dulse (Dillisk).  The last batch we got wasn’t dried enough so we had to bin it.  We only ever send it out when the quality is absolutely tip top, picked straight off the rocks and dried in the open sun till it’s crunchy and delicious.

We have new supplies coming soon.  In the meantime, please sign up for the news alerts service and we will send you an automatic notification when fresh supplies arrive.

Sign up using the form in the right-hand column.

Mar 192017
 

One of the vegetables that I am very fond of is seaweeds. I love it not only because of its taste but because of the many nutrients it can deliver to our body. Seaweeds have always been part of the staple diet of Asians who lived near the sea. To the seaside residents, it is one of their secrets to a long and healthy life. Even non-Asians do fall in love with seaweeds as these have become a distinct vegetable delicacy.

Seaweeds have good nutritional value, but different varieties offers different nutrients. See for your self what you can get from varied types of seaweeds:

  • Dulse – a reddish brown seaweed that is high in sodium. This seaweed can be eaten with milk and water;
  • Nori – commonly sold in flat sheets and is usually roasted and wrapped around pieces of sushi. This type of seaweed is rich vitamins (A, B1, B2, C, E and K), minerals (iron, magnesium, potassium and iodine) and protein
  • Wakame – this seaweed uniquely shows anti-obesity properties with its high amount of essential fatty acids called EPA.

Generalists speak so kindly about seaweeds saying they do does so much more for health than just delivering nutrients. According to them, seaweeds helps you with the following:

  • Regulate activity of thyroid (with Iodine)
  • Give satiety as a plant food and thus help control obesity
  • Support bone health (with Vitamin C, K, and Magnesium)
  • Aid in giving heart protection (with Potassium)
  • Deliver immunity protection (with Vitamin A, C, E and Iron)
  • Contribute to normal brain developments (in children – with Iron)
  • With its phytoestrogen content called lignans, seaweeds are known to have anti-cancer properties

Although not scientifically-based, others testify that frequent consumption of seaweeds reduces menopause symptoms like hot flashes and fatigue. Now because we cannot belittle the many nutrients we can find in seaweeds, it would then be a good practice to regularly include seaweeds in any possible opportunity. Here are some recipes you can try:

Merry Seaweed Salad

Ingredients:

2 pieces carrots sliced; 1 cup celery; 1 cup seaweeds, soaked for 2-3 minutes in water then sliced

Mixing Procedure:

Put water in pot and boil. When water boils, reduce temperature to low and add carrots (just blanch, until it is bright and still crisp). Remove carrots and put on plate to cool, just reserve the water. Bring back the water to boil and do the same with celery; drain carrots and celery, then mix together with seaweeds. Enjoy it naturally.

Deep Water Soup

Ingredients:

3 pieces onions (chopped), 2 tablespoons olive oil, 6 pieces potatoes (cubed), 2 parsnips, 1 cup sliced canned shiitake mushrooms, 1 cup dried seaweeds, 12 cups of water.

Cooking Procedure:

Saute onions in oil until brown. Add all other ingredients and cook until vegetables are done. Adjust seasonings

Voila!  If you have any comments please leave them below.  Tried the recipes?  What did you think?