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Porto-Muiños, littoral vegetable gardens

Mugaritz and  Porto-Muiños work together in several research projects aiming to bring back products scarcely used in kitchens.

“Littoral vegetable gardens”

During the last years Mugaritz and Porto-Muiños have worked on the recovery and responsible utilization of a unique ecosystem. The littoral is a space hit by the nature intensity. In the littoral, where there are cliffs, dunes and marshlands, salt and water lash. These three landscape forms offer a unique flora with extraordinarily interesting culinary characteristics. Halophytes are particular by their adaptation to the environment. They are characterized by their high tolerance to salt, which makes them naturally tasty and ideal for cookery.  It can be said that these herbs are previously seasoned. Most of them are the salty version of continental plants. As in inland we can find wild and cultivated spinaches, thistles, rushes, sorrels or chards,  in the littoral there can be found similar species with little sensorial differences (more salty and sometimes hard).

This work has been divided in different stages. First it came the research and selection of the most interesting wild varieties. Mugaritz made the tasting and culinary selection tests. Porto-Muiños has designed a cultivation system imitating natural conditions of the plants in their habitat. To do so, they have generated exclusive patterns of watering, aeration and cultivation. The result is a collection of littoral herbs with fascinating culinary uses.  

Sheep sorrel, sea swiss chard, coastal shallot, marshland’s spinach, sea fennel…