Everytime I take a class like this, I am constantly thinking of a (zombie?)apocalyptic moment. Urban weed foraging. Mushroom hunting. Documenting my neighbor skin a dead racoon. All fit under this category. Last month I decided to add seafood foraging to the list of skills to have at the end of the world. Ever since Kevin’s Portuguese Mother fed me five shrimp dishes and I felt a slight tingliness, I have been trying to stay away from seafood in general, so kelp was my main interest. Yet, it was still very interesting learning the different type of shellfish I could be eating mid winter, and the tasting of 20 different dishes with made in the class with all the freshly foraged shellfish has now cemented the fact that my psychosomatic reaction to shellfish is not quite fatal.
Denis Johnson of Adventure Sports Unlimited was our guide and our location was the coastline between Santa Cruz and San Francisco Bay, Pigeon Point. Low tide was in the afternoon and we all donned wet suits (except me, because I forgot one) and began our frolic among the jagged rock areas that would hold our dinner. Holey bags in hand and sand as our enemy, we collected enough for a feast and learned enough to give us a good primer if we ever had the desire to cook a gourmet meal.
Limpets, Mussels, Goose Barnacles, Laminaria, Egregia, Hedophyllum, these were the things we collected plus much more. We even found a very vaginal looking Abalone, but responsibly put it back, because it was very much out of season.