The next big superfood has been created (and patented) by researchers from Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center. The superfood is a type of seaweed and the researchers claim that it’s going to be very popular because it tastes just like bacon.
The seaweed looks just like red lettuce but is actually a new strain of red marine algae named dulse. The reason it has been called a superfood is that it’s packed with minerals and proteins.
This type of algae usually grows along the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines. It can be used as a nutritional supplement or cooking ingredient after it has been harvested, dried and sold.
“Dulse is a superfood with twice the nutritional value of kale,” Chuck Toombs said, a faculty member in OSU’s College of Business and a member of the team working to evolve the product into a superfood. “And OSU had developed this variety that can be farmed, with the potential for a new industry for Oregon.”
The dulse was meant to feed abalone (large sea snails) but the researchers quickly discovered that the algae could also do well on 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,” chief researcher Chris Langdon said. “When you fry it, which I have done, it tastes like bacon, not seaweed. And it’s a pretty strong bacon flavor.”
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has permitted the researchers to explore dulse as a “special crop”. Additionally, the researchers are working with the Food Innovation Center of the University of Portland as well as with several chefs in order to find out how dulse can be used as the main ingredient in meals.
At the moment, dulse can’t be found in any restaurant or supermarket just yet. However, the team of researchers is optimistic about the chances of making it big. They’re probably right; if this super healthy algae actually tastes like bacon, who wouldn’t want to eat it?