While Designing A Super-Kelp to Feed Abalone Farms, Scientists Created a Seaweed They Say Tastes Like Bacon.

by Owen James Burke


Dare I say it even bears a certain pork-like majesty in appearance, too? Photo: Oregon State University.

Scientists at Oregon State University are saying that dulse (Palmaria palmata), a red sea algae which they have genetically modified to provide a punch-packing source of nutrients for commercially farmed abalone, tastes so good that it’s also fit for the human palate.

I don’t doubt them. Dulse has been harvested in Asia for centuries, and I’ve always found that seaweed (in general) and its umami taste had a decidedly savory flavor–especially dried nori (the green seaweed that most commonly binds your sushi rolls). I could never understand why my seafood-wary friends were so afraid of it; it’s crispy, salty, and also full of protein.


Jason Ball, a research chef at the Food Innovation Center in Portland, OR, muses with his new subject. Photo: Stephen Ward/OSU Extension and Experiment Station Communications.

Cut into strips and fried–just like a slab of pork belly–this genetically modified dulse is all the rave at the Food Innovation Center in Portland, Oregon, where chefs are already playing around with the collagenous rock-clinging leaves in the kitchen. Judging by all this excitement, it should come as no surprise for Portland’s foodies to find it garnishing their salads or being served in complimentary amuse-bouches as soon as this very weekend.


Dulse is already farmed and sold for about $240 a kilogram (about $110/lb)–a hot commodity in East Asian markets. You could see that price double in the coming year. Photo via HealthJunket.

Read more at OPB.org. -OJB

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