Samphire was named after the patron saint of fishermen. Originally known as "sampiere", a shortened version of "Saint Pierre", or Saint Peter.
Samphire is a succulent halophyte (salt tolerant) plant. The term halophyte derives from ancient Greek 'Halas' meaning salt and 'Phyton' meaning plant.
Because of their ability to grow in a salty soils - they contain high levels of minerals. Marsh samphire ash was particularly prized for making glass and soap, because it is a rich source of sodium carbonate - also known as soda ash.
This mineral rich plant makes a wonderful addition to any healthy eating plan.
As with everything moderation and balance is key. This plant should be eaten as part of a diverse seasonal diet and not consumed in excess.
Suggestions for use
This makes a wonderful vegetable to accompany most dishes - simply cook and serve in the same was as you would tender stem broccoli. It pairs particularly well with seafood, due to its salty flavour, but is equally at home covered in lemon juice and olive oil and served with pulses or salads.
This can be eaten raw, but wash well first, it is at is best flavour wise, after being lightly sautéed in some olive oil, or butter. Alternatively it can be steamed or boiled for a few minutes, until it turns a more vibrant green and then removed from the heat and served immediately.