Researchers at Oregon State University patented a variety of seaweed allegedly tasted like bacon when cooked. Professor Chris Langdon came across it when he was trying to find a food source for edible sea snails or abalone, which is popular in parts of Asia.
OSU has developed a variety of seaweed that can be farmed. Langdon’s colleague professor Chuck Toombs suggested at the time that the veggie had the potential for a new industry for Oregon.
The seaweed resembles red lettuce and has a natural source rich in fiber loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, double the nutritional value of kale. It usually grows along the coastlines of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
Toombs and scientists at OSU engineered and harvested a variety of seaweed, also called dillisk or dulse, that when fried, it tastes just like delicious fatty meat, yet it has higher benefits for your health.
Apparently, dulse has been produced and consumed in Iceland for centuries. Knowing that, the people in Japan and northern Europe have probably been eating a similar seaweed for centuries.
Dulse is available in health food supermarkets in dried form for a price. However, researcher Langdon said the right condition and resources, this bacon-flavored seaweed could grow at a rate of 45 kilograms per week in his laboratory.
Langdon says since May 2017, a couple of small farms on the Oregon coast are having success growing it with his help, and selling it to 2 Portland restaurants.
A company in Ireland named Wild Irish Sea Veg started with two products, now sell a whole line of seaweed snacks worldwide. It seems that it is popular in northern Europe.
The seaweed is easy and environmentally friendly to grow, no water or fertilizer is required, and it pretty grows fast. The seaweed absorbs nutrients from its surroundings and filters seawater.