This might be the most significant culinary discovery of the last century.
A strain of seaweed which actually tastes like…bacon! Amazing, but true as researches at Oregon State have put down the patent on a new seaweed strain that when cooked, actually tastes like bacon, but has twice the nutritional value of kale!
This is sounding way too good to be true! A super healthy bacon tasting green replacement? Indeed its a form of red marine algae and actually resembles something like a translucent red lettuce. But when cooked, its all bacon!
The team in Oregon were actually just trying to come up with a decent food source for edible sea snails. Also called abalone, this is a very popular food in many parts of Asia and grows along Pacific and Atlantic coastlines.
Chris Langdon, part of the team, realized there was much more potential than snail food when his colleague Chuck Toombs stopped by and saw the growing seaweed and remarked that the bacon-seaweed might just have “the potential for a new industry for Oregon.”
Along with the universitys Food Innovation Center, Toombs starting working on a number of foods where seaweed was the main ingredient.
While the seaweed is consumed by Northern Europeans, and has been for centuries, Langdon stated that there were no US companies that actually grew red algae for human consumption. Langdon frys the seaweed up and describes the result:
“This stuff is pretty amazing. When you fry it, which I have done, it tastes like bacon, not seaweed. And it’s a pretty strong bacon flavor.”
With vegan foods and restaurants sprouting up all over the place, while more and more people seem to be switching to vegan lifestyles, it would seem this would be huge. Theres been no official analysis yet on commercialization, but cmon now. A bacon tasting seaweed twice as healthy as kale? With that kind of thinking, Toombs MBA students are working hard at coming up with a marketing plan.
Apparently there is some red algae sold in the US right now, but it is not the same strain as the kind being harvested at OSU, which is producing 20 to 30 pounds of the stuff a week, with hopes to triple that in the near future.
Lets hope the team get this bacon seaweed out on the market soon. If youre trying to get in your daily greens and veggies, you know how old kale and carrots get! What a pleasure itd be to replace them with some bacon tasting seaweed!
Read more: http://damn.com/new-bacon-seaweed/