Sea Fennel or Rock Samphire (Crithmum maritimum) is known in the Balearics under the name of Fonoll marí (Catalan) or Hinojo marino (Castellano). In Mallorca, pickled Fonoll marí (see photo below) is a common, almost indispensable embellishment of a traditional Pa amb oli.
One is more likely to encounter the plant in its culinary variation in one of the local markets where it is sold by providers of aceitunas (olives), pickled garlic, capers and dried tomatoes, than out in the open nature. The plant is less abundant than it used to be due to some abusive and uncontrolled picking. Should you happen to find the plant whilst ambling along on a coastal walk or hike, you can take a few sprigs back home and try the fleshy leaves in its raw state as part of your summer salad. Don’t take more than a few shoots, though, as the plant is listed in the Catálogo Balear as being protected by law.
The photo (top) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of luirig.altervista.org and photographer, Luigi Rignanese.
The photo (bottom) was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: July 11th, 2010. The time was 12:32:04.