It's been 15 years in the making, but researchers at Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center have finally patented a fast-growing strain of dulse seaweed that tastes like our favorite salty fried pork.
Researcher Chris Langdon told The Daily Mail, "When you fry it, which I have done, it tastes like bacon, not seaweed. And it's a pretty strong bacon flavor." So, it's seaweed, but it tastes good? It tastes like bacon, but it's good for you? We can barely wrap our brains around this one.
Langdon originally bred dulse to feed high-quality abalone, but once he realized its culinary potential, he developed the new strain for human consumption. Researchers have been creating dishes using dulse as a main ingredient, and there are hopes to bring it to the commercial market.
Aside from the obvious awesome factor, dulse, a red algae, also packs a huge nutritional punch. It's full of beneficial nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and comes complete with twice the nutritional value of kale.
Now before you get too excited with visions of magical healthy bacon salad, let's address the cost. It's not cheap. The strain sells for more than $60 a pound, which could put a damper on your newfound love of seaweed. However, due to its rapid growth rate, the cost could eventually come down. Here's to hoping.
This news may, of course, excite fans of bacon and make them — OK, us — want to eat seaweed. But it raises the question: How will vegetarians feel about this new development? Is bacon seaweed the culinary invention that will unite the two camps over piles of crispy fried superfood?
All images: Oregon State University and Stephen Ward
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