The consumption of arame, dulse, sea spaghetti, hiziki, Ramallo, kombu, sea lettuce, wakame, espirulina, seems like it has been the style for healthy food in the last few years, but it hasn’t been. The edible seaweed, as much seawater as freshwater, has been a part of the human diet since ancestral times.
The consumption is more common in Asia, in the pacific coast and Northern Europe, and today habitants from all over the world are eating it as well, choosing to also change the way it is prepared.
Although not everyone is concious of it, these are consumed all over the world and integrates rich and raw material. The most known algae are the nori algae which is principally because of the popularized sushi. The kombu algae can be found in the dashi Japanese broth, an essential ingredient of the miso soup. In the Chile coast, the inhabitants have consumed cochayuyo, algae of the South Pacific. This is the laver way of the recipes of the United Kingdom, Korea, and Japan. This restaurant also has vegan products and use the agar agar as a thickener to substitute the gelatin.
The majority of algae is commercialized as dry, which means that they need to hydrate before consumption. Nevertheless, it is treated as a versatile option, having an infinite number of culinary uses, so much as cold elaborations like garnishes, stew and cooked.
The largest group of consumers are the vegetarians and vegans due to its excellent nutritional benefits, since it is a source of minerals and vegetable proteins, along with including vitamin B12.
Algae can also be found in the supermarket as a health supplement to complement all diets.
In Spain, it has become more and more common to have algae in restaurants. There are many local restaurants that elaborate croquetas and tortillas made of wakame or include it in summer salads with seafood. The most daring also prepare paellas with various types of algae.
The Galician business sector has even joined the commercialization of algae and has taken advantage of demand that has grown globally little by little.
Ángel León, the owner or the gaditano Aponiente establishment and known as the chef of the sea ventured years ago to include plankton in his creations.
The chef is a part of the project Algae for Healthy World (A4HW), whose objective is to optimize the production of algae and turn them into principal compounds for human health.
We’ll have to wait to test and see if algae truly have become one of the key ingredients of the future of society.
Text: Olga Ruiz