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Wednesday 26 January 2022

Stagshorn plantain , plantago coronopus

 A lot of people are familiar with the 'regular' plantains we often find, that is ribwort plantain and broadleaf plantain, but a lot of people aren't so familiar with the other species of plantain that can be found in the UK, and this is one of them. Stagshorn or bucks-horn plantain, so called because its leaves look a little like deer antlers, tends to be a coastal plant though it can grow inland when roads or path ways are regularly salted.

Though not as medicinal as the aforementioned plantains, this one is slightly more palatable. Books say it tastes like parsley which I dont find at all,  I find it slightly bitter and salty though not as bitter as ribwort, it has a succulent texture and isn't the worst wild edible I've tried and I suppose would be fine mixed with other salad plants rather than just on its own. It has been used as a salad leaf and there are now commercially grown varieties used for salads. I haven't tried any of these commercial varieties but there must be some demand for them if they are now farmed for food. 

Tuesday 18 January 2022

The search for samphire

 Although not the time of year to forage for this tasty coastal delicacy we needed to find an area that supports an abundant amount. However the areas in which this salty sea vegetable grows are salt marsh and mud flat and are quite rare around the northern Irish coast. However after some research and a day of travelling we did find what we were after. Dead and dried plants were easily identifiable from last years crop and the young shoots were showing ready to be harvested later in the year. Its quite difficult to identify simply from its dried remains but not if you know what to look for !