Sea Spaghetti is thought of as the, ‘new kale’. Found on the shores of the Isle of Bute or around both west & east coasts of Scotland, at Argyll or Fife. It grows on rocks, preferably sloping ones, at the edge of the tidal zone. This means it is quite easily observed at low tide.
It forms a button on the slimy rocks, and from this, shoots out two main branches. When collecting the sea weed only take one of the branches. Leave the other one and the button intact. This way it will continue to grow for the next year’s harvest. Pick it early in the summer to eat it raw. As the summer progresses it will get tougher and need to be cooked. There are several varieties. Dulse is a reddy colour, sea lettuce & gutweed are green, and Komba & sea spaghetti are brown.
Introduced as a rich nutrient by the Vikings in the 1600’s, coastal villagers have known of its benefits for hundreds of years. For a while it was picked up with kelp, burnt, and became fertilizer for crops. However, recently it has had a huge surge as a food source, due to its healthy ingredients. It is now looked on as a ‘super’ dish, a great change from pasta. Big city restaurants have it now added, to their menus.
Before you cook sea spaghetti, soak it in cold water for about five minutes, with a little salt. Then cook exactly as you would for pasta, for approx. eleven minutes. Serve with a little olive oil or melt some butter. Add a little salt & black pepper. You will find it does not taste all, that fishy. More of a mild taste actually. You can also pickle it or dry it, and once rinsed, it will keep in your fridge for about two days.
Its healthy properties are numerous. The only people who would have problems eating seaweed are those with thyroid imbalances. Super rich in iodine, a portion of just 30 gm of seaweed produces over 300 % of the RDI of your daily requirements of this compound. Necessary to the thyroid, iodine stabilizes metabolism & weight, as it changes the fat we consume into vitality and warmth.
Containing extreme amounts of calcium and magnesium, seaweed fortitudes the bones and teeth. To reinforce enamel on the teeth, you need both minerals together, as one will not work without the other. Magnesium is also needed for a healthy heart. It secures a correct beat, and eases the muscles in the blood vessels. Thus, determining a steady blood pressure.
Sea spaghetti also contains compounds known as, ” alginates’. These govern the moisture in the skin and help ailments such as eczema, acne or psoriasis. Vitamin E which is also present, refrains the skin from being damaged by sun-exposure, or impedes dropping levels of Vitamin E, which you find in the elderly.
Last but not least Sea Spaghetti contains Vitamin A. As a beta carotene this is invaluable for eye problems such as cataracts.
All in all, it’s no wonder that Sea Spaghetti has found its way onto shelves, in food stores, as a pre-packaged item. But actually, collecting your own at the water’s edge is quite a profitable excursion. Even only taking one branch at a time you can collect an enormous amount, in so little time.
Then, as it is comparable to regular spaghetti, you can use it wherever you would eat pasta. It is excellent with any cheese dish.