Dulse (Palmaria Palmata) – so-called because of its finger-like leaves and palm-like shape – is a seaweed officially classified as a 'forgotten food' and is part of the Ark of Taste by Slow Food UK, which aims to preserve and appreciate our culinary heritage. It sits alongside other previously undervalued foods like the Northdown clawnut (a large walnut) Goosnargh cake and Penclawdd cockles. Fresh dulse has surprisingly delicate, savoury notes; whereas when dried, there is a smokiness that gives way to a sweet aftertaste, not a million miles away from liquorice.
Top chefs like Andrew MacKenzie and Brett Graham use dulse as an innovative and flavoursome addition to sauces, emulsions, breads and crusts. AA Gill, the late food critic and seaweed convert, recently talked of Dulse as a 'subtle but bold gob bolster' and 'the most intense source of umami' along with other seaweeds. Like kale, which recently reinvented itself as a fashionable and nutritious snack, dulse has made a comeback. It is now a product that you can pick off the shelves of your local deli, farm shop or M&S. Truly a proud moment for a marine vegetable which has been quietly minding its own business for 1.5 billion years.