Glasswort aka “chicken claws”
Glasswort Salicornia grows along the high tide lines of marshes. Around the same level as the sea heather which is what I was looking for when I found it. The sea heather was all brown and sad a side effect of Irene I think. (There were a lot of nature related side effects to Irene, but that is another post) Back to glasswort. If you don’t see it first, you will hear it as it crunches under your feet.
It is a succulent type plant. According to Euell Gibbons it is a relative of the beet, spinach, and swiss chard. It looks nothing like any of these. Like most edible algae it is high in vitamin content. The best way to eat is to pick the top couple of inches that are tender and serve raw in salads and as a garnish for fish. Or to chew just to chew on as you walk on the beach. It has a clean salty taste. It can be found from spring to the last frost of fall. Always make sure your marsh is clean before you glean.