Parsons Welsh Laverbread Case ~ 10-120 g Tins
Laver cultivation as food is thought to be very ancient, though the first mention was in Camden’s Britannia in the early 17th century. It is plucked from the rocks and given a preliminary rinse in clear water. The collected laver is repeatedly washed to remove sand and boiled for hours until it becomes a stiff, green mush. In this state, the laver can be preserved for about a week. Typically during the 18th century, the mush was packed into a crock and sold as “potted laver.”
Cultivation of laver is typically associated with Wales, and it is still gathered off the Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire coasts, although similar farming methods are used at the west coast of Scotland.
Laver can be eaten cold as a salad with lamb or mutton. A simple preparation is to heat the laver and to add butter and the juice of a lemon or Seville orange. Laver can be heated and served with boiled bacon. It is used to make the Welsh dish known as laverbread.
Laverbread (Welsh: bara lafwr or Welsh: bara lawr) is a traditional Welsh delicacy made from laver. To make laverbread, the seaweed is boiled for several hours, then minced or pureed. The gelatinous paste that results can then be sold as it is, or rolled in oatmeal; it is generally coated with oatmeal prior to frying.
Laverbread is traditionally eaten fried with bacon and cockles as part of a Welsh breakfast. It can also be used to make a sauce to accompany lamb, crab, monkfish, etc., and to make laver soup (Welsh: cawl lafwr). Richard Burton has been quoted as describing laverbread as “Welshman’s caviar”.
Laver is often associated with Penclawdd and its cockles, being used traditionally in the Welsh diet and is still eaten widely across Wales in the form of laverbread. In addition to Wales, laverbread is eaten across the Bristol Channel in North Devon, especially around the Exmoor coast around Lynmouth, Combe Martin and Ilfracombe. In North Devon it is generally not cooked with oatmeal and it is simply referred to as ‘Laver’ (lay-ver).
Laver is highly nutritious because of its high proportions of protein, iron, and especially iodine. It also contains high levels of vitamins B2, A, D and C. The dried purple laver contains high amounts of Vitamins.