In this month’s blog, I’m delighted to introduce Shelley from the wonderful Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company. I was first attracted to their products whilst researching for my Fat Dogs and Welsh Estates recipe section. The company kindly contributed a recipe, and, you know how it is, we started chatting.
Shelley told me about their products and passion for laverbread. I was hugely inspired by their ethos and think you will be too. Actually, I have a consignment of laverbread on its way to me as I type. I can’t wait to savour those unique flavours packed with goodness!
We hereby declare the April 14th – National Laverbread Day!
We are the Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company, and we’re passionate about all things seaweed, especially the Welsh delicacy known as Laverbread! So much so that we have launched a new national day dedicated to the joys of laverbread. Don’t be fooled by the name, though – Laverbread is not a bread. It is cooked and pureed Laver seaweed (Laver – Porphyra seaweed – is a diaphanous red algae found abundantly along Wales’ rocky coastline). It can be used in everything from quiches, curries, and chilli to cooked breakfasts and beyond. Needless to say, it tastes much better than it looks! And it’s packed full of nutrition.
Jonathan Williams (AKA The Captain!) founded our award-winning business based on his passion for seaweed. Quitting his desk job in 2010, he returned to Wales to run a food stall dedicated to Welsh seafood delicacies, particularly laverbread foraged from his local coastline. Over the years, the business grew from a pop-up market stall to a permanent street food kitchen overlooking Freshwater West beach, selling lobster rolls, crab rolls and breakfast buns stuffed with bacon, egg, cheese, seaweed butter and laverbread patties.
We have now taken on The Old Point House, an iconic old smugglers’ inn reached across a tidal causeway in the village of Angle, Pembrokeshire. We also have an online shop. Products include seaweed deli goods and seaweed-related gifts – such as dried laver (Welshman’s caviar), Môr Ketchup (seaweed ketchup sauce), seaweed butter, seaweed pesto, cheese, gin, and beer. And in 2017, Jonathan also launched Barti Rum, a seaweed spiced rum.
We want people to have fun discovering delicious but often overlooked Laverbread. We chose April 14 as National Laverbread Day because it is the same day the Japanese celebrate “Mother of the Sea Day” in honour of Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker, whose research into the cultivation of porphyria seaweed led to a commercial breakthrough for the Japanese Nori (laver seaweed) industry.
Jonathan says: “For too long, this laverbread has been cast aside as a footnote in the culinary world. But not anymore: from now on, this incredible ingredient shall be celebrated, revered around the world for the marvellous delicacy it is. So cast aside your inhibitions: life is an adventure, food is adventure. Be bold, be brave and make this day and every day forth the day of laverbread, born from land as ancient as the oceans themselves. To me, laverbread has to be one of the food wonders of the world. The use of laverbread has declined, and we believe that this is just not acceptable: this food wonder should be celebrated as much as possible.”
If you’re unsure what to do with it – Beth is going to share some of our recipes with you [Yes, that’s right. I’ll share more recipes on my website from the Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company team next week, so when you have a moment, do have a look.], and we have more great recipe ideas that you can try online. So, prepare ahead: stock up on laverbread and join us on April 14 online or in person at The Old Point House to celebrate this food wonder on National Laverbread Day.
Click on the link below to find out more about this natural wonder food and what happens on the Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company National Laverbread Day!