Seaweed is so familiar, and yet we know so little about it. Even its names—pepper dulse, sea lettuce, bladderwrack—are mystifying.
In this exquisitely illustrated portrait, poet and artist Miek Zwamborn shares discoveries of seaweed’s history, culture, and science. We encounter its medicinal and gastronomic properties and long history of human use, from the Neolithic people of the Orkney islands to sushi artisans in modern Japan. We find seaweed troubling Columbus on his voyages across the Atlantic and intriguing Humboldt in the Sargasso Sea. We follow its inspiration for artists from Hokusai to Matisse, its collection by Victorians as pressed specimens in books, its adoption into fashion and dance, and its potential for combating climate change, as a sustainable food source and a means of reducing methane emissions in cattle.
And, of course, we learn how to eat seaweed, through a fabulous series of recipes based around these “truffles of the seas.”
United Kingdom, United States, Netherlands
Complete English translation available
Complete German translation available
Complete Dutch original text available
Miek Zwamborn is a visual artist, author, and translator. After studying fine arts in Amsterdam, she worked as a lock keeper for fifteen years. She works and lives on the Isle of Mull, Scotland.
"But it's mostly because of Miek Zwamborn's own enthusiasm for the world of algae. Every alga, every poem, every picture she treats with such attention that you start to love algae yourself while reading." - Nico Bleutge, SZ