Algae are being named the food of the future that will help feeding our growing population. Whether it be for its health qualities or sustainability factor, algae or seaweed’s popularity is increasing worldwide. This ‘sea vegetable’ is steadily finding its way into more and more kitchens.
Getting to know seaweed in gastronomy
In some cultures seaweed is incorporated in people’s everyday diet. However, a lot of people will give you a strange look when you tell them about a seaweed bechamel sauce. Antonio Muiños, founder of the Porto Muiños seaweed company located in Galicia, Spain, tells us about his experiences.
Antonio started his seaweed for gastronomy company 16 years ago and has closely experienced the evolution in seaweed demand. In the Spanish market as well as other european countries, it took some time to introduce and familiarize people with this sea veggie. As he explains:
“People find it odd when I tell them to put seaweed in a salad, yet once they try it they actually like it”
The main reason why people didn’t eat seaweed was just because they didn’t think of it and didn’t know how to use it. What was needed, was teaching people how to use seaweed.
Porto Muiños invites reporters, chefs and journalists to come see first hand what a seaweed forest looks like. They also have a classroom kitchen where chefs from restaurants in the area come to experiment and try new things with seaweed. Also Foodpairing went to explore the submarine forests of Porto Muiños to get a better understanding of these sea creatures!
Algae on Foodpairing.com
Seaweed’s shapes are very diverse: sheets, ribbons, cylinders, filaments and bushes. Whereas the simplest seaweeds are composed of only one cell, the most complex ones consist of many cells and their body structure reminds us of land vegetables.
After our dive into the Galician waters, we’ve brought several species to the lab for an aroma analysis and added some of these interesting weeds the foodpairing.com database. This can help you to get a better understanding of the flavour aspects of the different species and make good foodpairing combinations.
In our next post we we’ll dive into the aromas of Codium and serve you a delicious Codium burger. Did you know it pairs very well with pumpkin and is a great companion to lychee or duck meat?