Kyle of Lochalsh Seashore Festival
Learning more about seaweed
On Saturday 16th May, Mara Maid Miriam had been very busy. Out early with a group of seventeen seaweed surveyors, Miriam was on a workshop with Dr Clare Scanlan and Mhairi Wilson of SEPA, who were busily expanding people’s knowledge of all things marine algal.
After a morning of collecting seaweed, Miriam left her fellow students busily examining fronds and stipes under microscopes in the Balmacara National Trust for Scotland classroom. Instead, she went off to examine her haul from the beach, for goodies to cook and eat.
A seaweed bake-off
At 2pm, people were queuing outside the door for the seaweed bake-off at Beth’s Café, Balmacara Square, even though the event started at 2.30pm. Elizabeth Morrison (owner and head chef of the café) is a chef par excellence and much loved locally. But with the promise of something extra in the mix, the crowds were in an eager stampede to know more. The whole afternoon was a free event sponsored by the Highland Seashore Project.
The doors were opened early and the flood surged inwards. There was an array of perfectly presented delights; tasters of flans, cakes, biscuits, crackers with tasty toppings, and breads from Isle of Skye Bakery. All with a bit of added extra, local seaweed, or Hebridean dried seaweed, or seaweed from those specialists, Mara Seaweed.
Mara Seaweed cooking demonstration
Coupled with this bountiful plethora of seaweed taste-tastic food was Miriam, with her demonstration of how to add Mara to food. Her hands-on preparation of seaweed salad made from freshly harvested sea thong from the Plock of Kyle that morning was well received too.
It was standing room only in the café, with coffees being poured and free, good food tasted with a resounding smacking of lips. In fact, many of the seaweed surveyors from the classroom migrated over to join the throng later that afternoon. They had the added bonus of being able to identify what they were eating in the wild, and know it’s scientific Latin name as well.
For those who were not holding a plate or two, the Hebridean Ishga Organic Seaweed Skin Care products were available for trial. Soon people were cooing over the softness of their skin as well as the fullness of their tummies. What a fabulous combo!