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The strange tale of dulse, the red seaweed superfood that tastes like bacon

Ah the ocean, the romantic mystery of the inky depths.

Sometimes it’s worth wondering, bluntly, what the hell is going on down there? The oceans cover 71 percent of the Earth, so is goes without saying that there’s a lot going on, be it creepy fish or that huge unexplained BLOOP noise that was heard 5000km apart in the Pacific.

But even when it comes to the ocean, it takes a lot to surprise Techly. Until they go and find a strain of seaweed that tastes like bacon, that is. Yep. According to The Independent, researchers at Oregon State University discovered that a particular strain of red marine algae that they were growing in an attempt to find a sustainable food source for abalone, or ‘edible sea snails’, has a few interesting properties.

It is extremely nutritious, it grows very quickly and, according to researcher Chris Langdon “When you fry it, which I have done, it tastes like bacon, not seaweed. And it’s a pretty strong bacon flavor.”

According to the OSU’s own report on the subject the algae, known as dulse, grows in the wild along the coastlines of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and has been long been harvested and sold as a cooking ingredient and supplement for up to $90 per pound, the difference with the new strain being that a crazy-fast growth rate means it has the potential to be produced much more easily. Also, the nutritional content is significant; it contains ‘up to 16 percent protein in dry weight’ and has been claimed to have ‘twice the nutritional value’ of the punchline to all those tired ‘healthy eating millenial’ jokes; kale.

Of course, a food product which is extremely healthy and has a unique selling point in that it can remind all those brave vegans and vegetarians of the joy and wonder of bacon, without any of the attendant guilt, would not be the hardest thing in the world to bring to market. Langdon and his colleagues are pretty excited about the potential of marketing dulse as a food product.

Of course the real kicker here is whether or not this stuff actually tastes like bacon, and for that the answer is….kinda? For a much more in depth food review feel free to watch Forbidden Food TV’s review below.

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