Tuesday, 18 August 2009

From Lear

"Come on, sir; here's the place: stand still. How fearful
And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low!
The crows and choughs that wing the midway air
Show scarce so gross as beetles: half way down
Hangs one that gathers samphire, dreadful trade!"

(King Lear, Act IV, scene VI)
This is rock samphire; the plant Shakespeare was describing when Lear referred to the dangers in collecting it. It was collected to supplement the diet and is now seen as a delicacy. Check out this blog for a wonderful recipe with a mouthwatering photo of samphire, scallops and black pudding. The samphire in this photo is just coming into flower and I took the shot at Samphire Hoe which nestles in the shadow of Shakespeare Cliff - the Hoe was built using spoil from the Channel Tunnel excavations. Marsh Samphire is eaten now rather than this stuff.

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