- Laver (seaweed)
Laver is an edible
seaweedthat has a high mineral saltcontent, particularly iodineand iron. It is used for making laverbread, a traditional Welsh dish. Laver is common around the west coast of Britain and east coast of Irelandalong the Irish Sea. Laver is unique among seaweeds because it is only one cell thick. [cite web
title=laverbread - WalesOnline
first=] It is smooth and fine, often clinging to rocks. The principal variety is purple laver ("Porphyra laciniata"/"Porphyra umbilicalis"). [cite web
title=Algaebase :: Species Detail
first=] This tends to be a brownish colour, but boils down to a dark green pulp when prepared. The high iodine content gives the seaweed a distinctive flavour in common with
olives and oysters.cite book
last = Hartley
first = Dorthy
title = Food in England
publisher = Macdonald & Co.
year = 1954
pages = 561-2
id = ISBN 0-356-00606-9 ]
Ulva lactuca, also known as Sea lettuce, is occasionally eaten as green laver, which is regarded as inferior to the purple laver. [cite web
title=BBC - Science & Nature - Sea Life - Fact files: Sea lettuce
Laver is sometimes also known as "sloke". [cite web
title=Scottish plant uses
Laver cultivation as food is thought to be very ancient, though the first mention was in Camden’s Britannica in the early 17th century. [cite web
title=Great British Bites: laverbread - Times Online
first=] It is plucked from the rocks and given a preliminary rinse in clear water. The collected laver is repeatedly washed to remove sand and boiled for hours until it becomes a stiff green mush. [cite web
title=Laverbread Parsons Pickles » Home
first=] In this state the laver can be preserved for about a week. Typically during the 18th century the mush was packed into a crock and sold as "Potted laver".
Cultivation of laver is typically associated with
Wales, and is still gathered off the Pembrokecoast, [cite web
title=Down your way | Life and style | The Observer
first=] although similar farming methods are used in west coast of
Laver can be eaten cold as a
saladwith lamb or mutton. A simple preparation is to heat the laver and to add butter and the juice of a lemonor Seville orange. Laver can be heated and served with boiled bacon. It is used to make the Welsh dish known as laverbread, which can be eaten with or without oatmeal.
Laverbread ( _cy. Bara Lawr) is a traditional Welsh delicacy made from laver. Laver is often associated with
Penclawddand its cockles, being used traditionally in the Welsh diet and is still eaten widely across Wales in the form of laverbread. The seaweed is boiled for several hours then minced or pureed: the gelatinous paste that results can then be sold as it is or rolled in oatmeal.
Laverbread is traditionally eaten fried with bacon and
cockles for breakfast. It can also be used to make a sauceto accompany lamb, crab, monkfish, etc, and to make laver soup (Welsh: "Cawl Lafwr"). [cite web
title=Traditional Welsh Recipes
Richard Burtonhas been attributed as describing laverbread as "Welshman's caviar". [cite web
title=Black Mountains Breakfast — Brecon Beacons National Park
Swansea Markethas several stalls selling only laverbread and cockles from the nearby Gower peninsula. The source of the seaweed used to make laverbread was historically the Gower coastline. There are still small producers of Gower laverbread, though it is now mainly along the Pembrokecoast.
In addition to Wales, laverbread is eaten across the
Bristol Channelin North Devon, especially around the Exmoorcoast around Lynmouthand Combe Martin.
Laver is highly nutritious because of its high proportions of
protein, iron, and especially iodine. It also contains high levels of vitamins B2, A, D and C.
Nori- a similar tasting Porphyracommon in Japanese cuisine
Gim (Korean food)- similar style food in Korean cuisine
*"Lamb, Leeks and Laverbread", Gilli Davies, Grafton (16 Mar 1989), ISBN 0586201394
* [http://journals.cambridge.org/download.php?file=%2FPNS%2FPNS12_01%2FS0029665153000127a.pdf&code=9a356df3ecf0fbba3395fd739ff44a29 Seaweeds and their Value in Foodstuffs, W. A. P. BLACK, Institute of Seaweed Research, 1952]
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