Glasswort (Not a Harry Potter Character)
This weekend, August 28 through 30, San Francisco resident Iso Rabins, founder of forageSF, will roll across the bridge to sling locally foraged sea beans at Oakland's Eat Real Festival. Sea beans are not a kind of seaweed, a weird, waterlogged cactus, or a euphemism for something yucky you don't actually want to eat. Also known as glasswort, a decidedly less delicious-sounding handle, they're dark-green stalks, grassy and briny in flavor, highly crunchable like snap-peas and nice fried tempura-style. In warmer months, sea beans grow wild in marshes and on beaches throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and thanks to intrepid dudes like Rabins, we're able to enjoy them without switching off the TV and heading out to hunt them ourselves -- which, probably, come to think of it, isn't the point at all. If only Safeway carried sea beans. That'd be even easier. Sigh.
.imelda/Flickr Sea beans (aka glasswort) for sale at Ferry Plaza.
On Saturday and Sunday, he'll post up near the marketplace's Embarcadero Street
entrance, vending specimens both raw and cooked. If you're there, try his sea beans with garlic, ginger, sesame, onions, and porcini, and buy a pound to take home. On Friday, he'll give a cooking demo as part of the fest's foraging and canning exchange. A cadre of wild food experts will be on hand to school you further.