A team of scientists has discovered a species of algae that taste like bacon when fried or smoked. The researchers were actually trying to develop a new type of seaweed so that they could feed a particular species of sea snail, known as abalone.
The researchers who invented the algae that taste like bacon are from the Oregon State University and were experimenting with different types of seaweed when they realized they actually found something really valuable for the food industry, vegetarian bacon.
According to the scientists, the new seaweed, which is a kind of read algae called dulse is packed with protein and vitamins. Although the researchers discovered recently that when fried it tastes like bacon, the seaweed has been around for a long time in people’s dishes. The experts explained that their originally wanted to make a new type of food for the abalone snail, because this species of invertebrate is very popular in Asian cuisine. Chris Langdon, a researcher at Hatfield Marine Science within the Oregon State University, said that he and his colleagues managed to grow these algae to feed the abalone snails much faster than the seaweed usually grows. Dulse has been growing for a long time as human food, but they wanted to grow a new type that will feed the snails.
According to the scientists, the main benefits of this type of dulse algae is that it grows super fast and when it’s cooked, like fried or smoked, it tastes like real bacon, except that it’s way healthier because it’s packed with protein and vitamins and doesn’t have any fat, as opposed to real greasy bacon.
Langdon said that Europeans use this type of algae as powder and add it to smoothies or add it to various recipes because of its intense aroma. He says that he was very surprised when he fried the algae and discovered it tasted and smelled like bacon. Langdon said it resembled the consistency of crispy fried bacon and the taste was very strong and “bacony”.
The researchers explained that the algae that taste like bacon grow fast thanks to a water recirculation system they created. According to them, the seaweed is very easy to grow and almost anybody could do it. They would just need some seawater and sunlight.
Talking about the health benefits of dulse, Chuck Toombs from OSU’s College of Business, said the seaweed is two times more nutritional than kale.
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