For those of us in the Western hemisphere, perhaps nothing is less appealing than thinking of eating Seaweed. Or at least that has been true up until the last few years or so. What was once looked at as a slimy, sea grass, has become a welcome food additive and component.
Various types of Seaweed have been popular in the Eastern Hemisphere for centuries. Japan is well known for incorporating it into many dishes, from Miso soups to Sushi rolls. It has been harvested and appreciated by Japanese culture for as long as we have records, but why has the West been so slow to catch up and how has it happened?
Thanks to international flavor mixing and health research, Seaweed has been discovered by Europeans and Americans as a great additive to food products and a snack itself. Since 2015, Seaweed consumption and demand has risen consistently year over year in Europe and has really made a niche for itself in the market.
Seaweed also produces the taste sensation Umami. Which is a unique taste that is somewhere between savory and bitter on the tongue, but adds a real depth of flavor to most dishes.
In a market that was overrun with Kale and other bitter greens, Seaweed offers another healthy alternative to health conscious consumers. It is great on its own, dried like a chip or in a soup, but even better added as a flavor to widen and deepen flavor profiles and delight diners around the globe. Plus, what better way to amaze a curious child than showing them how something they see at the beach can find its way to their dinner table and even become a favorite for those inclined for exploration?
The Western world has finally caught up with what the Eastern world already knew, Seaweed is so much more than it seems. It is a natural, healthy, superfood that adds flavor without sacrificing health, and is growing in leaps and bounds in today’s market. Seaweed is a sensation that cannot and should not be ignored. Your heart and tastebuds will thank you!