The Survival Series Part Five: Wild Rock Samphire

Not all food has to have a price tag, some of the tastiest treats out there can be foraged for free!

Like many out there, I have a fascination with survival and dystopian futures, and I often wonder would I be able to survive in the wild if things started to go haywire.

This series aims to capture those feelings while also educating people about wild food. A little bit of knowledge, goes a long way. This week:

Rock Samphire

Found on shingle beaches, this green, perennial plant can be found adorning fleshy stems and wide yellowy flowers.

Great for those who simply want to grab and go, this plant can be found in abundance in coastal areas, particularly on rocks by the sea. Its season lasts from May until about September.

Mentioned by Shakespeare in King Lear, gathering samphire is not always easy, and one must take care when climbing rocks to reach it:

Half-way down
Hangs one that gathers samphire; dreadful trade”

The leaves, flowers and seeds are edible with salty and parsley flavours coming through, and its green body is rich in aromatic oils.

It’s simply delicious in stir-fries, steamed or as an addition to a simple salad, and though there are people who find it particularly pungent, I think that’s what makes it unique.

For those who have the time, it’s well worth taking a jar of it and pickling it.

As always, be mindful to only take what you need and to leave plenty for others and for the plant or animal to come back in abundance. When it comes to foraging, sustainable harvesting is key.

Happy foraging!

Movie to watch: Snowpiercer

(Lead image via WikimediaCommons)

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