Researchers have found algae that tastes like bacon, has a high nutritional value, and is a good source of protein.
The researchers have now patented the new strain, which is a succulent red marine seaweed called dulse.
According to IFL Science, Professor Chuck Toombs has been working with scientists at Oregon State University (OSU) to engineer and harvest a unique variety of dulse that, when fried, tastes just like the fatty, delicious meat, but with greater health benefits.
Dulse (Palmaria sp.) grows in the wild along the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines. It is harvested and usually sold for up to $90 a pound in dried form as a cooking ingredient or nutritional supplement. But researcher Chris Langdon and colleagues at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center have created and patented a new strain of dulse—one he has been growing for the past 15 years, OSU wrote.
New seaweed tastes just like bacon and is healthier than kale:
“The original goal was to create a super-food for abalone, because high-quality abalone is treasured, especially in Asia,” Langdon pointed out. “We were able to grow dulse-fed abalone at rates that exceeded those previously reported in the literature. There always has been an interest in growing dulse for human consumption, but we originally focused on using dulse as a food for abalone.”
“Like most ‘new’ health foods you’ve never heard of before, dulse has been produced and consumed in Iceland for centuries. Furthermore, it is well-known as a natural source rich in fiber and loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants,” IFL wrote.
“Dulse is a super-food, with twice the nutritional value of kale,” Toombs said. “And OSU had developed this variety that can be farmed, with the potential for a new industry for Oregon.”
Students and researchers at the university’s center for food innovation are already creating delicious recipes with dulse. Veggie burgers, salad dressing, and even beer could all get the dulse treatment if the university’s plans to market the product to U.S. consumers ever comes to fruition, said IFL.
If this truly already tastes like bacon when cooked, then I would eat it.