Welshman's caviar is handpicked laver seaweed from the Pembrokeshire coast which has been dried and toasted to bring out its unique depth of flavour. A store cupboard favourite of mine I find it essential to everyday cooking.
Ingredients: Pembrokeshire laver seaweed, and nothing else. 10g
Allergens: Cannot guarantee crustacean or mollusc free.
Storage: Store in a cool dry place. This product is supplied ambient. Best to use within a year.
What is it?
100% laver seaweed and nothing else, just pure laver flavour gold. It is always hand gathered from the Pembrokeshire coast and never from anywhere else. It is then washed several times to remove all the sand, molluscs, and any crustaceans. It is then slowly dried over 24 hours and then the last hour toasted to maximise the flavour. The laver seaweed is then lightly flaked, jarred, and sealed.
What does it taste like?
It has more mild natural olive marine flavour when comparing it to laverbread. On its own, it stands up as wonderful fresh flavour that the toasting brings out and makes it subtle but essential.
Laver, the king of seaweed superfoods
"Laver seaweed contains more vitamins and minerals than any land-based vegetable".
"Gram for gram, Laver contains more protein than chicken."
"Laver contains 10x as much vitamin A as spinach and 4x times as much vitamin C as apples”.
Laverbread is rich in potassium, manganese, iron, calcium, and protein. The level of protein is the highest of all the seaweeds and said it can be between 30 - 50% protein. I found this percentage staggering and didn't quite believe it so I've been sending a sample of dried laver to the labs every month for a year to monitor protein levels and how they change according to the seasons: On average per 100g sample, dried laver holds 35% protein, which is amazing, this means, gram for gram, Laver contains more protein than chicken.
In addition, Laverbread is a powerhouse of vitamins and amino acids and has particularly high concentrations of Vitamin A, B2, B9, and C. Amino acids are essential for muscle development and strength. Vitamin A is important for the immune system and helps support bone health and eye health. Vitamin B9 is important in red blood cell formation and healthy cell growth. Vitamin C helps boost antioxidant levels, lower blood pressure and helps the body repair itself.
“Out of all the seaweeds Laver is the healthiest, it’s the king of all the seaweeds”.
How to use it
For me it is a store cupboard essential. For the first timers out there, I would simply sprinkle it onto your eggs in the morning, your salads at lunch or your rice/pasta dishes in the evening. Treat it like an herb and each sprinkle is just simply adding flavour to what you are cooking.
Personally, my favourite way of cooking with Welshman’s Caviar is sprinkling it onto salmon before roasting or adding it to miso soups, which is a clear soup made with lots of ginger, garlic, chilli, spring onions, vegetables, fish, or meat of choice with a dash of fish sauce and soy sauce for good measure.
I also love it in rice once the rice is cooked add a tsp to the hot rice and mix. Oh, and large roasted trays of vegetables. I usually make this on a Sunday as it sets you up for the week. Pre heat the oven to 200C, and with large baking tray fill it up with diced courgettes, butternut squash, yellow and red peppers, carrots, whole bulb of crushed garlic cloves, red onions, mushrooms and cauliflower. Season with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, Welshman’s Caviar, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Toss all together and roast for around 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked and roasted. Find this is a great Sunday dish and leftover roasted vegetables make amazing salads for your weekday lunches.
In addition, you can also make it into laverbread by placing 2 tbsp of Welshman’s caviar into a bowl and dash of boiling water and leave the seaweed flakes rehydrate in the hot water for several minutes. Then add a tbsp of oats, season with sea salt and pepper and then make into patties ready to fry with your eggs or bacon or both.
The back story to Welshman’s Caviar
Welshman’s Caviar was invented on our multi award winning flag ship Café Mor - the first fishing boat, solar powered, seaweed kitchen in the world. The dried laver flakes quickly became a key component of the Cafe Mȏr menu. Inspired by the old seaweed hut at Freshwater West and developed to help with the ebbs and flows of picking laver seaweed, which can be notoriously challenging.
Due to the drying process of the laver seaweed, it preserves it for when needed, unlike fresh laverbread which must be consumed within 10 days after cooking.
I called it Welshman’s Caviar as this is what supposedly Richard Burton (famous Welsh actor) use to call Laverbread. It also became my very first Beach Food Deli item back in 2013 when I started a range of seaweed deli products to help de-seasonalise the business which at the time was 100% reliant on summer trade at markets, events across the UK and Café Mor.
Café Mor started life in 2010 at local farmers markets on my mums 1970s tablecloth and went on to win best street food in the UK twice and then one of 80 Lonely Planets must visit food trucks around the world and selected to cater for the athletes at the London Olympic games in 2012. Farmers markets turned to Glastonbury music festival then turned into the famous fishing boat where it has been anchored at Freshwater West beach for the past several years. It is now located at The Old Point House in Angle Bay, Pembrokeshire.
If you are ever in the area come and say hi!
About Laver Seaweed
Laver is a seaweed traditionally eaten in Wales usually in the form of Laverbread which is simply laver seaweed which has been boiled for up to 10hrs and processed.
Harvesting seaweed in Pembrokeshire goes back a long way with the first mention of it in William Camden's Britannia in 1607. A small cottage industry started at Freshwater West in the late 19th century and the iconic seaweed drying hut provides a reminder of this.
Laver is now quickly gaining recognition for its wealth of vitamins and minerals as well as its unique depth of flavour.