By Karin Funke
When Birgitta asked me to go on the seaweed foraging walk that was organised as one of the many events of the Burren Slow Food Festival (May 2012), I was delighted as I had discovered the benefits and secret life of seaweed a few years ago. That was around the time we got our first seaweed products in for the Burren Smokehouse visitor centre. When I read the flyers provided by the producers, I decided to do some more research and share my amazing finds on our website.
Ger made a point of showing us how to harvest seaweed sustainably - which is course something that his family would very much depend on. They are harvesting in certain areas the water qualities of which are regularly monitored by the HSE.
We slowly made our way down to the shore and water pools in which we discovered interesting marine life like sea urchins, snails and delicate looking kinds of seaweed.
Back at the head quarters of the operation, the family had put on a big, delicious spread for us: healthy seaweed jelly (juice thickened with carragheen), seaweed crisps baked off in the oven - a healthy alternative to crisps bought in the shops which are full of saturated fatty acids and salt, seaweed cooked in different sauces and so on.
If you are wondering now how to use seaweed in your daily diet, there is a fantastic cookbook by Prannie Rhatigan called "Irish Seaweed Kitchen" which I bought myself as I was intrigued by recipes that are delicious and contain so many healthy, natural ingredients.
Alternatively, we have a few recipes on our website (see here - search for "seaweed" under Ingredients).