An Ancient Food for Modern Thinkers
Seaweed has been eaten for thousands of years in Scotland. In Victorian times seaweed harvesting (dulse in particular) and selling was a livelihood -something we hope we are bringing back!- and there was already the appearance of the link between seaweed and health. As recorded by John Robertson’s article The Purple Shore in Charles Dicken’s popular periodical Household Words:
“…of all the
figures on the Castlegate, none were more
picturesque than the dulse-wives. They sat in
a row on little wooden stools, with their
wicker creels placed before them on the
granite paving stones. Dressed in clean white
mutches, or caps, with silk-handkerchiefs
spread over their breasts, and blue stuff
wrappers and petticoats, the ruddy and sonsie
dulse-women looked the types of health and
-Just like us Mara maids today!
How to eat Dulse like a Victorian:
Between two red hot sticks of iron.
According to Robertson along the English coast in the South-West fisherman would eat Dulse pinched between red-hot irons “when it is said to taste like roasted oysters.” Where as, in Robertson’s home town of Aberdeen, Dulse was served as “a regular relish on the tables of all ranks”.