Seaweed is Going Mainstream

Just 3 of the 30,000 seaweed types in the world...

Just 3 of the 30,000 seaweed types in the world...

Please forgive us for mixing our aquatic metaphors, but seaweed is going mainstream. We're not just talking about bathing in the stuff, but eating it too.

No longer the preserve of beach foragers and health food shops, seaweed is increasingly turning up in breads at your supermarket, in sauces and chowders at your restaurant, and as dressing on your salads and greens. So while you've probably not seen too many plates of bladderwrack or dillisk served at your local, it's more often present as an ingredient in a host of different foods.

Not that you can taste it though. In small quantities you don't get the taste of seaweed, but you still get all the health-related benefits. One of the clever nutrients is iodine, which is associated with a whole bunch of good things happening, like normal thyroid function, normal growth in children, normal cognitive function (those important brain-related skills we take for granted until they fail), a healthy metabolism, healthy skin and a healthy nervous system. Scientists are also investigating what it can do for diseases as far afield as cancer, dementia and diabetes.

Until quite recently, you could buy your seaweed products in fairly small quantities, in sachets, packets or small tubs. That makes it expensive for anyone with any kind of commercial aspirations. You simply can't get enough quality product to commercialise your offering. This is only going to change as more and more chefs, hotels, restaurants and supermarkets continue to incorporate seaweed and other smart ingredients into their everyday offerings.

We've also seen the demand for 'clever' ingredients increasing. It's why we've invested in the research, development and manufacture of our smRt foods range of ingredients. With a ready supply of Irish, sustainable, organic seaweed, we provide our ingredients in buckets which range from 250g to 800g, all the way up to 20kg smRt bake and smRt stock bags for distributors, ingredients companies and large-scale food manufacturers. Our products are in air-dried, milled granule or flake form, so that all you need to add is a small spoonful or two.

With the health benefits of seaweed proven, and its ability to greatly prolong the freshness and softness of bread, it's easy to see why the vegetables of the sea have moved into the mainstream. As JP McMahon, chef, restraunteur at Aniar and Cava in Galway, and Irish Times columnist recently said on twitter, "seaweed is our national vegetable." You can't get much more mainstream than that...

Get in touch if you'd like a sample and some recipes to work with.