Today I am writing about one of my beloved plants because I finally have photos which can back up my presentation. Just a few days ago I have travelled to the island of Mylos and gave a concert at its Ancient Theatre. At the day of my arrival at Sarakiniko, among the most astounding coastal rock formations in the world I have found “kritamo’ bushes nesting here and there….Crithmum known as sapphire, rock samphire or sea fennel and in Greece as kritamo, karma, kritano, kritama, kirtama, krithamo, tritamo, armira is an edible plant that grows and thrives in soils with very high salinity as are found all over Greece at the seaside, rocky or steep sandy places. It also grows at southern and western coasts of Britain and Ireland, and on other mediterranean and western coasts of Europe including the Canary Islands, North Africa and the Black Sea.It is very durable and is watered by the sea water. During the sunset you will notice the moisture that comes out of the sea and rains onto the rocks and sand. This plant needs no other watering but the sea mist.Crithmum is known from the ancient times. Famous Greeks such as Dioscorides, founder of pharmacology, and the Roman writer and botanist Pliny mentioned the plant and praised its properties. Since the days of Hippocrates it has been considered to be one of the most important natural remedies. Used also as a diuretic and for detoxification, it is beneficial for the liver.The seeds of this plant are very similar to barley, which is why the ancient Greeks called “krithmon” (Crithmum). So from the time of Hippocrates till the present day, it is considered to be one of the most important medicines nature offers us Culinary useA wonderful aroma is emitted when it is cut. I find its smell rather reminiscent of oregano, but the taste is more bitter and brackish. It has many nutrients found in fish and shellfish and provides an alternative for those who no longer wish to eat fish. Drain it well and rub it down to make an awesome salt. Critharum powder
Ingredients: Fresh Crithmum.
Preparation: The Crithmum should be dried in the sun until it become completely dry. Mill the dried Crithmum in blender. Place the powder in a jar. The powder remains salty.
3 cups kritamo
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons salt
1 cup water
vinegar and olive oill-3 tablespoons
Store the jar in a dark place. After 2 weeks it is ready. Check out my recipe for Spaghetti with tuna, capers and kritamo here (Precautions: The essential oil of the herb should not be used by pregnant women).