Well, former bacon lovers (or maybe you’re a new vegan still working on the “former”), here’s a bit of good news! Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) have recently patented a new strain of red marine algae that tastes like bacon! It’s called dulse (Palmaria sp.) and it grows along both the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines.
According to OSU’s Chris Langdon, he and his colleagues at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, have been growing this translucent, red lettuce-looking strain for the last 15 years. It’s a great source of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and protein. So, pretty “super.”
According to OSU…
Chuck Toombs, a faculty member in OSU’s College of Business, who stopped by Langdon’s office because he was looking for potential projects for his business students… saw the dulse growing in bubbling containers outside of Langdon’s office and the proverbial light went on.
“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.”
“In Europe, they add the powder to smoothies, or add flakes onto food,” Langdon said. “There hasn’t been a lot of interest in using it in a fresh form. But this stuff is pretty amazing. When you fry it, which I have done, it tastes like bacon, not seaweed. And it’s a pretty strong bacon flavor.”
The vegan market alone could comprise a niche.
“The dulse grows using a water recirculation system,” Langdon said. “Theoretically, you could create an industry in eastern Oregon almost as easily as you could along the coast with a bit of supplementation. You just need a modest amount of seawater and some sunshine.”
The background of how Langdon and his colleagues developed dulse is outlined in the latest version of Oregon’s Agricultural Progress at : http://bit.ly/1fo9Doy