It’s a cornerstone of Japanese cuisine, and has been a source of food for coastal communities for centuries, now one a Dutch entrepreneur has turned it into bacon. Seamore already produce a seaweed pasta product called I Sea Pasta, and their seaweed bacon is produced in a similar way. But why?
Well, it all goes back to the summer of 2013. Willem Sodderland was on holiday with his family in Ibiza, and, looking for something unusual, ordered a seaweed salad…
The dish arrives with apparently no seaweed in sight. However, his wife instructs him to look again. What he thought was tagliatelle, is actually, Himanthalia elongata, a type of seaweed also known by the nickname ‘sea spaghetti’. This eureka moment eventually led to the development of I Sea Pasta, and now, it’s been joined by I Sea Bacon.
Both products start off with the seaweed harvest off the coast during the summer months. This is done in a sustainable manner so as not to damage the ecosphere. The crop is then washed in fresh water, gently dehydrated and stored until needed.
You can use seaweed bacon in four main ways: fry the leaves in hot oil for 20-40 seconds per side, chop and/or stir through a sauce, soak the leaves and add to a salad or soup, or finally just chew it straight from the pack like beef jerky.
With the world’s population predicted to hit nine billion people by 2050, we’re going to have to radically rethink our food production systems, and seaweed along with other sources of protein like insects could form part of that rethink.