Samphire (Glasswort)

Samphire

Summer time, the sun is almost shining and the samphire is fresh.  The long summer holidays, or, if you’re chained to a desk, the short summer weekends, are the perfect time to explore the mud flats of the British coastline.  An afternoon of mud diving is the perfect way to end a day at the beach, and best of all, a feast isn’t far away. 

From June till September thick carpets of samphire shoot up through the mud, and provide the perfect addition to any seaside meal. It grows in marshes and estuaries across Britain, and picking is easy work. Once picked, I normally steam samphire for a few minutes. As with many delicious foods, it will also benefit from a good dousing in hot butter. You can eat it as veg alongside barbequed fish, serve it with poached eggs or copy the Norfolk pubs and serve it pickled. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall also recommends samphire fritters:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2007/jun/30/features.weekend

For more recipes, see the following links:

http://uktv.co.uk/food/ingredient/aid/509472

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/samphire

Then sit back, enjoy and impress your foodie friends!

A couple of useful bits:

Cutting samphire

-          Uprooting samphire is illegal, but easily done, so arm yourselves with a pair of scissors to make life easier. 

-          Marsh samphire is also known as glasswort, as it was once used in glassmaking.

-           Don’t leave your samphire to soak in fresh water for too long as it makes it droop- a quick rinse should be enough.

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