Scientific Name(s): too many to list
What: "stringy" strands.
How: boiled, stewed
When: spring, summer
Nutritional Value: carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins.
Dangers: must be boiled, globular algae are toxic.
Strands of long, edible algae found in a stream.
Clumping algae like this should be considered toxic.
Algae can be found in both running and still waters exposed to some sunlight. It will usually be clinging to rocks or other ridged surface such as logs and turtles. Only the stringy type is edible while globular, gooey forms are dangerously toxic.
Unlike many tasty salt-water seaweeds, freshwater algae can be unpleasant to eat and is generally considered to be a survival food eaten when little else is available. It is best finely chopped and then added to other soups, stews, curries or other sauces where it will be simmered for a long time. Cooking it in this manner will help break it down into more digestible matter. Algae can be dried first and then crumbled into the aforementioned sauces.
Warning: Algae must be cooked to kill any aquatic pathogens which can make you very sick.
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