Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Extreme Greens Understanding Seaweeds by Sally McKenna

I was delighted to meet Sally McKenna and her husband John last year when we were interviewed together on the Sue Nunn show on KCLR 96FM. During that interview Sally spoke about her recently published book "Extreme Greens Understanding Seaweeds" so I got to experience first-hand her passion for seaweed and great knowledge of everything about it. According to Darina Allen it is "a book that needed to be written".

 After spending time in Japan as a foreign student many years ago I returned to Ireland completely fascinated by seaweed. I questioned why an island nation such as Ireland didn't use seaweed the same way as Japan. After reading the introduction in Sally's book it appears we somehow lost our knowledge and appreciation of seaweed that our ancestors possessed. Sally mentions in her book that in pre-famine days the order of work for the woman of the house was said to be 1. potatoes (prataí) 2. children (páiste) and 3. seaweed (feamainn). 

In the past few years Ireland has rekindled its love and appreciation for seaweed. Irish seaweed companies are starting to sell this wonderful resource in shops across Ireland so we can use it in our everyday cooking. 

If you have an interest in learning about seaweed then this book is a user friendly guide. While reading Extreme Greens, I felt Sally's close connection to nature and her passion for seaweed and everything it represents.
These are some of the things I like about the book:
- gives you general knowledge on all aspects of seaweed including drying, storing, foraging
- outlines the wonderful health benefits of seaweed
- practical approach to cooking with seaweed (incl tips for using it for children's meals)
- easy to follow instructions on how to make homemade cosmetics using seaweed

Other reviews written about Extreme Greens:
Huffington Post
West Cork Times
Darina Allen

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