I’m a Phire Starter, Twisted Phire Starter

Perhaps not in their wildest dreams did The Prodigy imagine the success arguably their most famous song would have – reaching number one in the UK charts, attaining platinum status with 600,000 sales in the UK alone…being used as a pun for my little old seafood blog. I’ll leave you to decide which is the most impressive (coincidentally, the album cover contains a picture of a crab!).

Despite the title of this week’s blog, you’re more likely to find this earthy, salty sea plant as part of a main course on seafood (mainly white fish) dishes at restaurants nationwide – hardly surprising given it’s habitat. But recently I enjoyed it with a beautiful confit lamb starter at one of my favourite eateries in the area. Talk about versatile!

Found on marshland and on rocks next to the sea, it’s such versatility that has lead to samphire’s elevated status amongst it’s green cousins. Others just don’t cut the mustard. Consider:

  1. Broccoli – mmm lovely boiled goodness. Unless it’s with blue stilton in a soup, I’m not interested.
  2. Green beans – brings back vivid memories of chewing the tyre from a Lego tractor. At least the squeak makes it feel like they’re cleaning your teeth.
  3. Asparagus – I’m a fan and this challenges the most of the three; in fact you could liken samphire to a smaller, gnarlier (thesarus has this as a synonym of twisted so I’ll take that) asparagus.


Usually when I reach for the salt on the dinner table, it’s met with a glare from my wife followed by the usual remarks of salt not being good for your blood pressure… “I’ve already seasoned it enough, it doesn’t need it”. No arguments there. It’s a vice that I’ll have to overcome.

But despite it’s distinct salty taste, samphire actually contains very little sodium, just 0.8g per 100g. And it has other health benefits too – just 100 calories per 100g serving, free of saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in the ABC vitamins. Samphire also aids in liver cleansing and digestion.

Perhaps I should stick it in the salt grinder and sprinkle that on to my dinner in future. I’ll note that down in my Dragon’s Den idea book.

AO Seafood supplies samphire and at very good prices too. If you’re already enjoying samphire, or want to get on the bandwagon, then give us a call on 01282 429000 or fill out the contact form below.