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Welsh Food laverbread not a bread!

Updated on February 18, 2013

Wonder Weed of the Sea!

The Seaweed growing on the Sea Washed Rocks in West Wales. The green Sea Lettuce gives an inferior product to the Desired Purple Sea Weed.
The Seaweed growing on the Sea Washed Rocks in West Wales. The green Sea Lettuce gives an inferior product to the Desired Purple Sea Weed.
The Right Stuff Purpura Umbicallis Seaweed adorning the Rocks in Pembrokeshire West Wales
The Right Stuff Purpura Umbicallis Seaweed adorning the Rocks in Pembrokeshire West Wales
The Seaweed Drying Hut on the Beach at FreshWater East in West Wales,
The Seaweed Drying Hut on the Beach at FreshWater East in West Wales,
On Display at the Market. Note the adjacent crabs, another local Delicacy
On Display at the Market. Note the adjacent crabs, another local Delicacy
Prepared Laverbread ready for Sale in convenient portions.
Prepared Laverbread ready for Sale in convenient portions.
Best way to Eat and Enjoy Laverbread with a tasty Bacon Rasher and rolled in Oatmeal and fried in Bacon Fat.
Best way to Eat and Enjoy Laverbread with a tasty Bacon Rasher and rolled in Oatmeal and fried in Bacon Fat.
A Popular Dish in Seaside Restaurants in West Wales
A Popular Dish in Seaside Restaurants in West Wales

Laverbread, Bara Lawr or Slake, an Acquired Taste!

One of the most beautiful sights on the coast of West Wales is the rocky shores covered with fresh, colorful, almost transparent, purple Seaweed. The Seaweed is washed twice daily by the tides of the Atlantic Ocean, collecting nutrients from the Sea. The seaweed, unusual in being only one cell thick is rich in about fifty minerals, the main ones being iron and iodine. It also contains Vitamins B2, A, D and C. For centuries the people of the Coast of south and West Wales have harvested it from the rocks to prepare a special dish, Laverne. This was first mentioned in the book written in 1605, Camden's Britannica, a topographical and historical survey of Britain. The Gower peninsula and the Pembrokeshire coast being especially famous for it. The Seaweed is dried in special drying huts on the beaches and then washed to get rid of the sand in several changes of fresh water. It is then boiled for several hours in big kettles until it is reduced to a dark greenish residue which is the Laverbread.

This Laverbread is added to stews and soups. My favorite way to eat it, is formed into patties, rolled in oatmeal and then fried with the breakfast bacon. I will not lie, it is an acquired taste and you probably will find it very unusual at first, not to say strange! It is very popular in its home territory, South and West Wales. Ambitious Chefs are experimenting with it in Ravioli and Risotto. Richard Burton the famous Welsh Actor called it Welsh Caviar, but then I think he had acquired a taste for it! One thing is certain, it is definitely good for you! The Japanese enjoy a relation to Laverbread in the seaweed used in Sushi, Nori.

My Grandparents used to travel to Cardiff the Capital of Wales once a week to buy their Laverbread at the fish market. They lived to be nearly 100 yrs old and I can never remember either of them being ill. My Granddad, Pop Newport, never retired from his business of making and repairing Billiard Tables. ( see my hub on him, Pop Newport, the Harley Guy.) We used to use the drippings from roast lamb mixed with the juice of a lemon or bitter Seville Orange and a tablespoon of Laverbread to make a good sauce to serve with the lamb for our Sunday lunch. These days with the extreme interest in food, I expect there are may inventive ways to use Laverbread

If you are in Wales, give it a try. It is also available on line  http://www.laverbread.com/  so there is no excuse. It is also stated that because of the high iodine content it would be a useful food to eat in event of nuclear war as the iodine combines with heavy metals and enables them to be excreted from the body! Better acquire a taste for this useful dish. Enjoy

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    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      I really don't know. I have just returned from there. If you know of any Welsh enclaves , perhaps in Thames or some other mining area you might strike lucky. Sorry I can't help. I'm off to wales at the end of next month so let me know how you get on.

    • profile image

      Clive Osborne 

      5 years ago

      Where in New Zealand (North Island) can I buy Laverbread?

      Clive.osborne@hotmail.com

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi Irohner, Whelks are sea snails with upright shells and crevettes are shrimps in French. Lovely grub!!! We used to boil them and take the meat out with a pin Yummy! Thanks for the visit.

    • lrohner profile image

      lrohner 

      8 years ago from USA

      Seaweed? Hmmm, I'd give it a wellie! :) Yet another great hub. But I need to know -- what are crevettes and whelks???

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi Joy, I think it is but like I say, it is an acquired taste. Thanks for the comment!

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joilene Rasmussen 

      8 years ago from United States

      I wonder how this compares with using spirulina algae for nutritional purposes. Maybe I should find out - if you can fry it and eat it almost on its own, it seems as if it might be more palatable than spirulina, at least. :-)

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      I couldn't leave it out as it is probably the most interesting and healthy as you say. Thanks for the comment!

    • emohealer profile image

      Sioux Ramos 

      8 years ago from South Carolina

      Doesn't appear to be the tastiest tidbit you have shared, but probably the healthiest. Very Interesting!

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Bon Appetit!

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 

      8 years ago

      Stuff like pictures number 4 and 6 are good to look at just before starting on a serious meal! :)

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Next time I'm in Wales I'm going to try that, where did you get that inspiration? I suppose you're Not Telling

    • Not Telling profile image

      Not Telling 

      8 years ago from Eastern Nowhere

      I'd like to try that stuff sauteed in olive oil with a little garlic.

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi Judy Full of nutrients and the essence of the sea! Now you can buy it on line so you don't have to go to Wales (that is the sad bit!)

    • profile image

      Judy 

      8 years ago

      I think this is worth trying.

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi Jerilee I hope you enjoy the Welsh variety. At least it is very good for you. Thanks for the visit!

      Hi Amanda I expect that as a vegetarian you would gain lots of necessary nutrients from Laverbread thanks for popping by!

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi Gypsy Willow, as soon as I saw this one pop up in hubtivity just now, I knew it had to be one of your hubs! I've had laverbread many times, and absolutely loved it. It may be an acquired taste, but it didn't take me too long to acquire it! Being veggie I skip the bacon and lard bit and just fry it with oatmeal in a bit of olive oil. It's very tasty!

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      8 years ago from United States

      Exceptionally interesting! I've tried seaweed in Asian countries and found it to be good. I think your description makes me want to try laverbread.

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      I have a feeling it has been for over four hundred years in Wales! Thanks for stopping by RV,

    • RVDaniels profile image

      RVDaniels 

      8 years ago from Athens, GA

      Ah, those wonderful inventive Welsh! It may become the next herbal remedy!

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi Alexander thanks for the comment, I was unsure about this one because its not really a recipe. No one is going to collect a bucket of seaweed and boil it for hours (well maybe if there is a nuclear war!) However it is an important Welsh food and now you know!

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 

      8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Nuclear food? Awesome! In the event of a nuclear holocaust, we will hate the taste even more because it will be down to a choice between that and cockroaches! No disrespect to the larverbread of course. Even though very short, I think this is the best food hub you have written so far.

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      That sounds very comforting, glad to hear it!

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 

      8 years ago from In the clouds

      All is well, I am eating cookies and not seamoss!

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Cheers, Kushal

    • Kushal Poddar profile image

      Kushal Poddar 

      8 years ago from Kolkata,India

      Another delightful Hub

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi Feline Prophet, Wales got there first! Ours is a superior Sea Weed! (I think!)

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      That is true, Paper Moon. It is packed full of nutrients, but even coming from Wales I have to say I find it difficult to eat without a wry face! Thanks for dropping by. Hope all is well.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      8 years ago

      Sea weed huh? I thought the Japanese had the monopoly on that!

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 

      8 years ago from In the clouds

      I am sure it does not taste good, but I have heard you could alomost live off of it because it is so healthy.

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