“A seaweed that taste like bacon? It really does sound like the Holy Grail of vegetables, doesn’t it? We have to admit that we’re kind of obsessed with bacon seaweed!
Research on bacon seaweed:
Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) were (pleasantly) surprised to find that a seaweed species that is bred to feed abalone, and with which they had worked for two decades, was actually a delicious superfood called dulse. Packed with iron, calcium, magnesium and protein, dulse is savoury, umami and salty. A smoked version is even more bacon-like! And, pan-fry it in a little oil – it is super-crispy and delicious.
But what can I make with seaweed bacon?
And experimental chefs like Jason Ball, who has been working on the project at OSU for about a year, are already getting busy in the kitchen. Think creative dishes like dulse ice cream and instant ramen, smoked dulse peanut popcorn brittle, and even dulse used as an aroma hops substitute in beer. And, says Ball, the second round of experiments will include substituting dulse in foods that commonly employ bacon – it won’t be long before we’re munching on ‘BLTs’, and dulse cheese burgers…
Is it healthier than “real” bacon?
Finding a nutrient-rich alternative to bacon is obviously fabulous news for health-conscious eaters, but a surge in seaweed farming worldwide would be great for environmentalists, too. It’s a sustainable product. It eats carbon, and produces protein.
Ecology and evolution…
Charlie Yarish, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut, thinks seaweed is a particularly exciting crop because of its ability to extract nutrients from aquatic ecosystems. Basically, seaweed doesn’t just grow in the coastal waters that humans are pumping full of pollutants – it thrives in those environments.
Looks like we’ll be enjoying eggs and dulse breakfasts in no time. These researchers certainly have their fingers on the dulse.”
What do you think of the bacon seaweed trend? Yes or no? Will you try it? Chat to us in the comment section below.