SaucyKod

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Art Of Fundy Dulsin'.........n tha rest o'tha day....



Dulse is reddish seaweed that grows in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It has been harvested for hundreds of years and is commonly used as both food and medicine. Today, it can be ordered just about anywhere online from many health food stores or fish markets or even ordered directly from the many small towns and villages along the Bay of Fundy.
We have some of the highest and lowest tides in the world. The time between a high tide and a low tide is, on average six hours and 13 minutes, giving us two low and high tides in 24 hours. Average tides can be anywhere from 36-47 feet and in spring run off an average of 55 ft is normal.


  
Same Wharf above n Beach below @ High n Low Tide
  

Just waitin' on the tide - there's dulse at that big rock out there.......
As far as the eye can see.......  

 I have picked dulse for many years on many coasts throughout our area. When one is part of the local activity of collecting dulse - whether it be - providing for yourself or profit, it all depends on the tides. I have always picked dulse for myself, friends and neighbours.   I have motored by boat, or rowed out to a favourite area and then waited for the tide to recede enough to pick from my favourite rocks, or waited until the tide was out far enough to walk to an area  where the dulse was rich and plenty. On some beaches, you are knee deep in water, where the picking is the thickest; and the dulse leaves fully mature, however you have to be most careful, between where the beach still lies and the next step you may take topples you off into deep water. If you know the beaches and the levels of the tides and know where it is safe; you are fine. Many people now just wait till the tide goes out and take their ATV’s out quite far, fill their dulse bags ( an olde feed bag will do) and motor home. I still do my picking like my Dad taught me. I still know some of the best places to pick that no others have found, so 95% of my dulse is as good as the best from Dark Harbour on Grand Manan Island.


 
 

For myself, I usually walk out with the tide. I wait a bit for the tide to start receding, and also carry a pail( n my survival tool") for whatever treats I might find along the way. I did find a nice lobster resting in a pool of water under some seaweed one day…..so yah just never know. If I walk out with the tide, then I know I have lots of time. Also, you have to consider how the tide went out – because the tides like to fool those that don’t know and sneak in around you and trap you in the middle. I have seen that happen to tourists that walk out a good mile and play at the water’s edge, and not notice the tide has already returned in behind them - then watched them turn around and walk rapidly through slippery rocks, seaweed, and sometimes mud to get safely back to the beach. This sometimes requires a swim or a rescue. Even though the beach looks flat, the returning tide will fill in gaps and low areas behind you. I always know what time the tide goes out and when it is coming in. I wear a waterproof watch and always keep myself on alert, glancing round aboot now and then. You would also notice that when the tide turns, the wind comes from another direction. If there were a word to express the feeling of being a few individuals in the middle of this vast expanse of exposed sea bed, as Mother Nature idly contemplates the reversal of the tide and all its energy to “bring er in”; it is just truly inspiring and it never grows olde.
Of course, Jack goes with me. I have to keep her close to me on a long leash, usually tied to my waist. She is used to this and it’s my way of knowing exactly where she is, for many dogs have wandered too far and got caught in some muddy areas and lost in the incoming tide. Jack’s idea of Dulsin’ is usually rocks of various kinds or clam shells. he,he
 
There is a proper way to pick Dulse – you pick up the entire growth (or some like to call it entire leaf) into the palm of your hand and a give the whole thing a quick flick of your wrist to release it from the rock. This leaves the root behind on the rock to start growing again. Dulse is usually collected in summer months and some Septembers through fall, depending on the drying weather.
 
 

People dry dulse in various ways. For myself, I lay it on a heavy duty string across the yard, turning it every so many hours in the sun. If the weather is good, I leave it overnight and continue the process the next day. Usually two - three days is good drying time, and yes, I find myself nibbling along the drying process. We also take a whack of dulse and dry it on the sunny rocks, for “right-a-way-eating.” Proper drying is two days in the sun being turned, a day out of the sun to sweat and another day in the sun to bring the salt to the surface. Some lay it on nets on flat boards, some actually have drying houses. I have driven up a side road down by the beach and found layer upon layer of dulse lying on the side of the unused road, drying in the sun. Don’t let your Dulse get rained on, for it’ll ruin the whole batch. Some people take their dulse in at night, so dew does not get on it. I use one of those screen tents, so it stays dry overnight. Some Dulse Farmers now commercially dry their Dulse, however; there is still nothing quite as  fresh and tasty as picking and drying it yourself.


 

I had a neighbour lady that would toss some dulse on the top of her woodstove, until it became thin and crispy. She always ate her dulse this way. I did not care for this at all. My Mother made dulse flakes from a lot of the dulse we collected and sprinkled it in sandwiches, soups, stews, chowders, and salads. Our dulse was stored in brown paper bags in the large deep freezer and we usually had enough to last all winter. You could just open the freezer, grab a handful and it was as fresh as the day it was dried.
 
  
Dulse is a good source of vitamins. A “handful” will provide more than 100% of the daily amount of Vitamin B6, 66% of Vitamin B12, a day’s supply of iron and fluoride and it is relatively low in sodium and high in potassium and protein. 
 
Treasures to watch - collect and build. 
The opportunity is always there to build an inukshuk
 We do not usually leave the beach, just because our “Dulsin” is done. The dulse is stored in the car, in a water tight bucket, and we have brought a picnic basket to spend the day – now we can play and scour the rocks and beach for other treasures and of course a swim, before going home with the setting sun.
                                                                                               SaucyKod

14 comments:

Gail said...

What a wonderful post. I have learned so much. I've never had seaweed or Dulse but you dry it like we did our plants we save.

Genie Robinson said...

What a great story. I was mesmerized by the story. It is all so interesting. Growing up on the Atlantic with the Gulf Stream less than a mile off shore, I have known of many foolish people venturing out and getting into trouble. It sounds like your daddy brought you up to know exactly what to do and how to go about doing it. The pictures are great. I think I need to start looking for some of this mana from heaven. This was an A#1 post. genie

Red said...

Great post on dulse. I've heard lots about dulse and tried it. What I like most about your post is the description of the beach and tides.
I'm a prairie boy and I love it. However I spent two years on the coast and I'll never forget it.
I was in northern Quebec and there are extremely high tides...45 ft. It was awesome to go out at low tide and then look back. It freaked me out to see the shore so far above us. Our bay also froze so the tide lifted the ice each time it came in.

DJan said...

I love seaweed, but I've never harvested it! This was so incredibly interesting, and now I know how to do it, if I would be so inclined. I'm not, but I sure would love to taste some of your beautifully harvested dulce. Wow! :-)

Genie Robinson said...

Thanks for the thumbs up on Buddy. He has like way over a thousand followers on Face Book with his pictures. I keep trying to get him to move on and start a blog, but he doesn't seem quite ready. He would have such a wonderful following of hikers and woods people...plus he has a fabulous sense of humor and some of his photoshopping cracks me up. I will tell him what you said. genie

Pauline said...

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Had you not, I would never have found this post. I've never heard of dulse or eating seaweed - and I always love to read about something completely new to me, like I have made a wonderful discovery. I will return.

Dar said...

What a fine read. I, too, have never had Dulse. It sounds very healthy. And what a wonderful introduction to your most interesting world. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a fun comment. Please come again.
BlessYourHeart

biebkriebels said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. You made an interesting post about Dulse. I have never eaten seaweed, it doesn't look so attractive to me, but I know people who like it very much. Those tides I have seen in France, in Bretagne. In the north part of our country we have also something like this.You can walk there with low tide and have to be aware of the high tide, which can close you in.

⊱↫PreciousKD↬⊰ said...

Never heard of Dulse before, but your post is very interesting and educational too.

The health part sounds incredible.

Francesca Edesia said...

As you know my husband is Japanese and he loves seaweed. I have seen Dulse here in Sicily in the health food shops but I didn't know about it. You know so much about seaweed. It was really interesting to read this post. I am impressed.

Caramella said...

Very interesting. Seaweed is also good for the hair...must go eat more sushi!

Friko said...

You eat seaweed?
With pleasure? As a vegetable or a snack or as part of a meal?

Fascinating post, it’s all totally new to me.

Jana said...

wowww, how very interesting! I love to eat algs, but I dont think this one has yet made it to my plate:-)) Do you think we can get it in Europe too? I love the idea that you do your own harvesting+conserving/trying! how cool, I can only imagine how good it tastes on big bowl of salad-yumyum...love your blog!

Pamela Gordon said...

I really enjoyed your dulse story and didn't know one could actually go out and pick it like you do. Great photos and explanation. We like good clean, fresh dulse (minus sand and tiny periwinkles that grit on the teeth!!). Pamela