Laverbread, or bara lawr in Welsh, is a traditional Welsh delicacy, mainly found clinging to exposed rocks and is harvested on the West Coast of the British Isles and Southern Ireland. After being gathered, the seaweed is thoroughly washed and cooked until it becomes soft. It is then minced to convert it into a thick black/green paste like texture.
In the early 19th century, laverbread, bacon, mushrooms and sausages became a staple breakfast for hard-working Welsh pitmen who needed plenty of energy. Even today, hotel guests across Wales are often greeted with the traditional Welsh breakfast with laverbread and cockles (bara lawr a chocos), another Welsh delicacy harvested from the Gower coastline. Welsh chefs also use laverbread in other recipes that include lamb with laver pesto, laver ravioli, black risotto, laverbread Dahl and sauces for canapés. Laver is also a delicacy in Japan where it is mainly used for sushi meals.
Eating Laverbread is not only tasty; it is scientifically proven to be beneficial to your health. Many studies have confirmed the positive qualities of the mineral rich Laverbread. It is nutritious, very low in calories, rich in protein and contains over 50 known minerals and trace elements regarded as essential body requirements. The sea enriched weed provides high quantities of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and iodine and vitamins A ,B, B2, C & D. Laverbread is so healthy it could even help after a nuclear pollution incident as it contains a compound which binds with heavy metals in the gastrointestinal tract forming a gel-like salt which is understood to remove radioactive and environmental contaminants. Additionally, seaweeds such as laverbread enhance the flexibility and mobility of joints, are healing to the mucous membranes and promote healthy skin.
Many edible seaweed species can be found across the world. These edible types can be roughly categorised into the finer weeds as Laver and sea lettuce, the short stemmed as dulse, Irish moss or Carragheen and “horse tail” kelps which grow on or below the tide mark. Laverbread is the most prized for its versatility in cooking.
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