Researchers at Oregon State University found a way to get people interested in eating seaweed. And all they had to do was spend 15 years breeding a new strain that tastes like bacon.
For a decade and a half, a team of scientists in Oregon has been working with dulse, a type of red marine sea algae. Dulse is already harvested in the wild and used as food or a nutritional supplement in parts of Northern Europe, but OSU thinks a new strain of they’ve created can bring this algae to the next level. “This stuff is pretty amazing,” said Chris Langdon, a researcher at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center. “When you fry it, which I have done, it tastes like bacon, not seaweed. And it’s a pretty strong bacon flavor.”
Beyond just sea-bacon-y goodness, dulse contains other desirable properties as well. “Dulse is a super-food, with twice the nutritional value of kale,” said Chuck Toombs, a faculty member at OSU’s College of Business. “And OSU had developed this variety that can be farmed, with the potential for a new industry for Oregon.”