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A cabbage-like plant, native to sea coasts but easily grown inland. The leaves are used like cabbage and the young shoots like asparagus.

Now rarely used it appears to have had a certain vogue in the earlier part of the 19th Century.

Crambe Maritima on Worthing beach, West Sussex
Image: Charlesdrakew

"Although it is now in very general use, it did not come into repute till 1794. It is easily cultivated, and is esteemed as one of the most valuable esculents indigenous to Britain. As a vegetable, it is stimulating to the appetite, easily digestible, and nutritious. It is so light that the most delicate organizations may readily eat it." (Mrs.B)

Original Receipt in 'A modern system of domestic cookery, or, The housekeeper's guide' by M Radcliffe. (Radcliffe 1822)

Sea Kale

The best sea kale is that which grows wild in the costal sand on the sea coast; and which in some parts of the country, the labouring poor assist to [?] by hoeing up the sand round the plants, and cutting them, when thus improved, for sale. The sea kale is tied up in bundles like asparagus, and commonly dressed in the same manner; being served up placed on a toast at the bottom of the dish, with a little melted butter or hot gravy poured over. Sea kale being a fashionable vegetable, has become an object of inland horticulture, though it seems to require both sea air and sea soil.

See also: Seakale Soup

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