Sea Moss Custard

Sitting on the beach last Sunday, I noticed a woman walking amid the rocks at low tide, bent over to collect seaweed. I have seen many people search for starfish and seaglass and shells on these north shore beaches, but never this stuff, which is the opposite of showy — nearly colorless.

As she passed by, her hands full of the the small, tan, crenelated leaves, I had to ask. “Why?”

“Sea moss custard,” she said. It’s something her mother and grandmother made. “You wash the seaweed till all the sand is gone and then boil it with milk.” The seaweed gives off a rennet-like substance that binds into a custard.

“How does it taste?” I asked. “Like seaweed?”

She couldn’t describe it.

When I got home, I went to the computer and there, at I found recipes for sea moss “pudding.” Simplicity itself: milk, sugar, vanilla, and sea moss, boiled.

Perhaps some smart, thrifty New England housewife figured this out a hundred years ago…

There were no reader comments, reviews, or descriptions.

Wondrous strange.


  1. PDeBoest on July 26, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    I just finished reading “The Red Tent”, I loved it and your writting style. I went looking to find out what else you had written and found your website. Barnes and Noble, here I come!
    While reading your book, I would go to bed at night, wishing I had a red tent I could go to with my sister and daughter. Three days of down time and communing sounds wonderful. I think women need that. Passing everything on to your daughter,the strength,the wisdom, the sharing,the innermost secrets of women.
    Your characters were so vivid, I felt like I knew, Rachel,Leah and Dinah. I was very happy when Dinah met Benia and finally was happy again. I kept thinking the whole time I was reading, why haven’t they made a movie out of this book??? Thank you for writting it and I look forward to reading your other books and the new one.
    Sea Moss Custard??? Sounds interesting, you would just have to make it, because it sounds so weird,lol.

  2. Sophie Rosenberg on May 13, 2023 at 6:22 pm

    What beach were you sitting on when you saw this woman collecting seamoss? I imagine you were somewhere in the caribbean islands because that’s where seamoss is mostly harvested and utilized. Regardless of where you were, I can assure you that this recipe was definitely not created by a thrifty New England housewife. Natives of the caribbean islands have been using seamoss to improve their health for eons. It’s packed with lots of minerals that are essential for the human body so consuming it can give one good energy and overall wellness. Most islanders don’t boil it, they rinse the salt off and then blend it to make a gel if it’s fresh seamoss but if it’s been dried then they’ll soak it after rinsing before boiling. I worked for a Jamaican woman who taught me how to make her famous seamoss custard. She blended the seamoss with banana, cacao, dates, cinnamon and nutmeg. Refrigerate it for a few hours to have the most splendid, creamy and delicious custard that’s healthy and nutritious.

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