Codium, the genius green seaweed

Codium is a subfamily of green seaweed, known for its intense sea flavour that reminds us of goose barnacles. Also referred to as “dead man’s fingers”, Codium’s soft texture and appealing shape make it an ideal seaweed for cooking.

There are about 50 different species of Codium worldwide, from Australia to South Africa, or from California to the coast of Spain. The Codium species you can find in the Foodpairing database were handpicked in the Spanish submarine forests of the Porto Muiños Seaweed company, Galicia.

Looking deeper into its complex aromatic composition, we can notice the following: green and floral aromas are the dominating flavour of Codium.

codium aroma wheel flavour analysis foodpairing

Green aromas, essential in seafood and some vegetables

The green aromas characterizing Codium are found in many sea food flavours. Thus, these green aromas explain the classic food pairing match between Codium and many fish, such as crustaceans and shellfish. Think of langoustine, crab, turbot, sea urchin, sole… These very same green aromas are also present in some vegetables, such as cucumber, tomato and avocado. Picture a sushi roll, cucumber is the perfect match for a fresh piece of salmon, tuna or other sea food.

Of course we’re not here for the classics are we? Did you ever think of using seaweed as a garnish on your hamburger? Or to combine Codium with rabbit, duck, chocolate, rhubarb or kiwi? These are just a few examples of ingredients that share green aromas with Codium.

aroma wheel codium analysis foodpairing flavour combinations

Floral aromas with a honey touch

The floral aroma group that we can find in Codium goes into a honey-like direction. These aromas strengthen the link with sea food, but also allow Codium to be paired with several types of beers, Colombian coffee, asparagus and sour dough bread.

Spicy vanilla notes

Not only does the spicy–vanilla aroma make Codium a great companion to whisky, tequila, rum and vodka, but also to fruits such as raspberries and pineapple. Codium and other seaweeds can be a delicious garnish but what’s more, it can be used to infuse spirits!

Woody and coconut

Woody links are the aromatic drivers behind Codium combinations with artichoke, aubergines, mushrooms and popcorn. Check out this algae popcorn that we’ve made a while ago: algae – passion fruit – shiso – popcorn. What is quite remarkable is the presence of coconut aromas in Codium. This type of aroma is unique to Codium, no other analyzed algae has this aroma in its composition. Examples of ingredients that share this coconut flavour are mango, apricot, ginger, lemon grass or even fries.

Enough scientific talk! Time for some cooking, here’s a Salmon burger with a fresh cucumber & watermelon salad and a wasabi-coconut mayonnaise.

Burger pairing: Codium – watermelon – cucumber – wasabi – coconut

salmon codium watermelon cucumber burger foodpairing flavour combinations burger pairing

Read more about algae, the food of the future and Foodpairing here

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