Researchers at the Oregon State University have accomplished what is close to discovering the unicorn – they’ve created and patented a new type of seaweed that when cooked tastes like bacon.
We will let that sink in for a bit. Now, for the great part – the bizarre but tasty creation is also packed with minerals and protein and is twice as healthy as kale.
The seaweed called dulse is a new strain of a succulent red marine algae that grows extraordinarily quickly.
“The original goal was to create a super-food for abalone, because high-quality abalone is treasured, especially in Asia,”said researcher Hris Langdon who has been growing dulse for the past 15 years. He also pointed out. “We were able to grow dulse-fed abalone at rates that exceeded those previously reported in the literature. There always has been an interest in growing dulse for human consumption, but we originally focused on using dulse as a food for abalone.”
Dulse is a superfood, with twice the nutritional value of kale,” said Chuck Toombs, a faculty member in OSU’s College of Business and a member of the team working to develop the product into a foodstuff. “And OSU had developed this variety that can be farmed, with the potential for a new industry for Oregon.”
The team began researching ways of farming the new strain of dulse to feed abalone, but they quickly realized its potential to do well in the human-food market.
“There hasn’t been a lot of interest in using it in a fresh form. But this stuff is pretty amazing,” said Langdon. “When you fry it, which I have done, it tastes like bacon, not seaweed. And it’s a pretty strong bacon flavor.”
They’ve received a grant from the Oregon Department of Agriculture to explore dulse as a crop and are working with the university’s Food Innovation Center in Portland and several chefs to find out ways dulse could be used as a main ingredient.
We can’t wait for this new superfood!