Samphire in Suffolk
The Norfolk coast is known for it, but we have some good patches in Suffolk too. Like most foragers I’m not going to share my secret spots – and in fact they’re both on private land – but I did want to share these spectacular pictures with you.
Taken just as the season officially started on Midsummer’s day – this is a field of marsh samphire (or samFUR as it’s called by those in the know.
If you do pick it please make sure you’ve got the landowners permission to be there and please use scissors so you don’t disturb the base of the plant – you want it to be there next year after all!
I don’t think you can beat nibbling tender stemmed samphire on the spot – but you might prefer to rinse it free of grit first.
Much less well know, but also abundant in Suffolk, is Sea Purslane which grows just a bit further up the beach. It forms silvery clumps of vegetation – it’s evergreen – so you can pick the leaves all year round, although they are at their best in May and June.
Sea Purslane is one of my favourite wild foods. It’s got a crisp texture and a salty flavour that reminds of well, crisps!
Sea Purslane could be used in place of capers to give a salty taste and fresh texture. Traditionally it was pickled and here is a great recipe for Pickled Sea Purslane, The same web site, Eat Weeds, has an interesting recipe for Sea Purslane Pesto. Next time I’m at my favourite foraging spot I’m going to pick enough to try these recipes.