Gathering of food is a frugal endeavor. I gather fruit. If I was more knowledgable I would gather other foods as well. I need a local mentor to take me under their wing and show me the way. Any volunteers out there?
This morning the tide was low exposing pools for the sea to give up it's offerings.
A low tide exposing rock, perfect for collecting limu and 'opihi.
When I questioned the gatherers I was told they were hunting for limu, the Hawaiian word for algae or seaweed and ‘opihi. They are Hawaiian limpets with a dome-shaped shell. They suck down and hold onto the rocks tightly so they can deflect pounding waves powerful enough to sweep an unwary collector out to sea.
The tide was low but the waves were never really far away.
I took the risk and scrambled along the rocks to gather photos of what life can be found between the rocks now exposed. This is the place to find limu.
‘Opihi are a prized delicacy in the islands, and collecting enough for a meal can be a dangerous task. Sure footing, a good grip, a sharp knife and vigilance with a constant eye on the waves are essential while gathering ‘opihi.
She gathers limu and 'opihi.
‘Opihi are eaten both raw or cooked. I had some trouble finding out how to cook them as most are eaten raw and many right on the spot. When the locals congregate at the beach they park in a line of pickup trucks wheels in the sand, tail gates tipped down toward the ocean, canopies set for shade, ready for fun, food and social activities. Kind of a combo tailgate party/luau. The men often go out into the water with snorkels and spears, while the women chat and children frolic in the water. After they leave I often find piles of ‘opihi shells scattered about gleaming with mother of pearl, remnants of what seems a delicious good time.
Urchin lunches on limu.
I have never collected my own limu but I do eat seaweed both the nori for my sushi and this stuff called ocean salad that we pick up at the grocery store. We eat the bright green ocean salad with rice, I don’t know if that’s proper way, but it sure is good. We also eat some ahi poke that has seaweed in it and like it very much. And most of the Furikake (japanese rice seasoning) we use contains seaweed as well. I read some articles about it that say it’s chock full or iron, and antioxidants and some believe it has extraordinary health benefits. The following links have more information about seaweed for those who just need to know more. http://www.hawaii.edu/reefalgae/publications/ediblelimu/
Tire tracks in the sand.
More limu and fish too.
This blog segment contains frugal and free things to do when travelling to Kauai. The location was near Salt Pond County Park by the Port Allen Airfield.