Move over, kale. There’s a new (sea) vegetable in town and it wants to join you on the plate as a healthy food. Sea vegetables are certainly having their moment. As with kale, chefs are driving the train, experimenting with seaweed as more than a garnish. They making cocktails with it, eye-popping salads, and adventurous main dishes, moving it from mere condiment to the center of the dinner plate.
You may have first enccountered seaweed in a store like Erewhon Natural Foods, where it was part of a macrobiotic diet. Now, you very nearly can’t avoid it in Whole Foods, where it appears whole, dried, and raw.
I interviewed seaweed farmers from Maine to California for this episode, number 10 in the series. Seraphina Erhart of Maine Coast Sea Vegetables told me about the challenges of harvesting in the wild. (She also spoke with me about the history of seaweed in the US, a longer conversation that I am including in the book I’m writing about food.) Listen to the podcast at Future of Food.