Kritamos (Rock Samphire) is linked to Ancient Greece in many ways, in the myths surrounding Prometheus, as well as in Hippocratic medicine. It is also known in Britain and has been mentioned by Shakespeare. Although the Greek islands were once the culinary province of kritamos, it is now becoming more and more well known by chefs and restaurateurs all over the world, notably urban centers running top-end Greek restaurants, whose owners get it shipped into their kitchens.
Kritamos is pickled in the same way as capers; all parts of the plant – stems, leaves and seed pods, except the flower – can be prepared in this way for later use as a flavoring in salads. The leaves and the most tender stalks are the best for pickling. In its fresh form, it has an appealing smell, something like a mixture of fennel and peppermint. No surprise that it is also known as sea fennel. When pickled in vinegar, its aroma and taste change, but it still adds an interesting dimension to a potato or tomato salad.
Shelf life: 12 months