Tasting local seaweed – The end results

So after arriving home from work I decided that my eldest son and I should go to the local beach to try out some of these seaweed that I have been investigating. It would allow me to test the different varieties I could find and also give my sone and I a chance to hang out a little, as he has not been too happy lately. So despite the weather not being the best, and the sun starting to set, we set out to check out the beach. My son helped by filming my antics as I acted like a buffoon, eating raw seaweed which I had just pulled from the water.

After returning home I washed the plants and brought them inside to the kitchen to try various methods of preparing them, such as boiling and drying in the oven.

The plants exhibited an amazing reaction when boiling water was poured on to them. They dramatically changed colour from brown to green. The taste after boiling was a lot different to fresh from the ocean. The majority of the boiled seaweed had very little taste, with the texture being the only real defining characteristic. The Laminaria variety did have a sweetness to it, as did the wakame.

Drying the kelp created a new taste sensation. The Bull Kelp, which had lost all flavour in the boiling, became hard like plastic. It was not pleasant to eat (although my younger son told me he really liked it). The Leatherweed became hard and brittle, with one piece actually causing me harm when it became lodged between two of my teeth (It still hurts). The Laminaria had a great taste to it and great texture. It would be the most substantial part of a meal of you were collecting the plant. Finally, the Wakame was (by far) the best tasting of the batch. It was light in texture, and full of flavour. All of my family who tried this said that they wanted to eat more (unfortunately I only collected a small amount).

I was very happy with these experiments in the culinary use of local seaweed. I have determined which varieties I would like to eat, and which I would not like. If you are able to, I would recommend looking into seaweed as a possible source of food. Millions of people eat it every day and I am sure they would all agree that seaweed is a tasty and heathy part of a diet.

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