Adult Ed Class Creates a Spring Seaweed Feast

Maine Coast Sea Vegetables

Hancock, Maine

April 10, 2019

Last Wednesday evening ten local home cooks, who were curious about working with sea vegetables, ventured out in the lingering spring time snow. They congregated in the Maine Coast Sea Vegetables’ R&D kitchen-conference room space armed with ample curiosity and take-home containers for the leftovers. The class, offered by RSU 24 Adult Ed, was advertised as a Spring Feast and did not disappoint! The menu included Sea Seasoned Deviled Eggs for an appetizer, Cream of Asparagus-Smoked Dulse Soup for the first course, and Kelp Poached Salmon with Red Onions as the main course. The main dish was accompanied by a freshly baked baguette with Dulse-Garlic Butter for spreading and a salad of mixed baby greens with Dijon-Triple Blend Vinaigrette. The happy participants also got to taste Sea Seasoned Bloody Mary Mix and, naturally, our signature Kelp Krunch™ was available in both Original and Ginger flavors for a sweet finish. Throughout the evening we also sipped on Cup of Sea teas to keep us hydrated and focused.

We started the evening with a quick introduction to the eight types of seaweed we work with here at MCSV and each student received a folder with a Maine Seaweed ID booklet, samples, and recipes to try at home, as well as the recipes being explored in the class. As the soup stock simmered with its Alaria and Dulse and the eggs steamed, we took a tour of the production facility and the warehouse. One student later described the evening in this way: “We all marveled that the company has relocated in Ellsworth [technically Hancock], right in our neighborhood (after almost 50 years!), but most of us hadn’t really known anything much about its operation; it’s as if a treasure chest had opened at our feet, and now we know the mysteries inside are within our reach.”

On returning to the kitchen, we set to work on the rest of the meal. We chopped onions and asparagus, peeled and halved the eggs, and joked about my aversion to actually measuring ingredients while cooking. I prefer the taste and adjust method, but I always test and measure my brainstorm recipes for the sake of those who like to follow a more precise route to a yummy result! Below you can find recipes for the three courses we prepared.

~~Happy Cooking!~~

~Kara Ibarguen, Outreach & Education

Sea Deviled Eggs

Sea Seasoned Deviled Eggs are perfect way to start any Spring Feast!

Ingredients:

  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 T Mayonnaise
  • 1 T Spicy Brown Mustard
  • 1 tsp Capers
  • Sea Seasonings® to taste: Kelp with Cayenne, Dulse with Garlic, Sea Salt with Sea Veg
  • Dash Hot Sauce, to taste

Method:

For best results, steam the eggs in a steamer basket for 25 minutes. Submerse in COLD water as soon as done steaming and allow to cool. Peel the eggs. Cut eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. Mash the yolks with the back of a fork and add the remaining ingredients. Put mixture in a pastry bag and pipe into each half egg. Garnish each egg with a caper or two and sprinkle with Triple Blend Sea Seasoning®.

Asparagus-Smoked Dulse Soup

This creamy soup is smooth and satisfying; not to mention beautiful!

Ingredients:

  • 1, 1-2″ Strip Alaria, cut into small pieces
  • 1 T Dulse Flakes
  • 1/2 Cup Smoked Dulse, cut into pieces
  • 1 Vegetable Bouillon Cube
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 3 T Unsalted Butter, divided
  • 2 lbs Fresh Asparagus
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • Fresh Lemon Juice                 }
  • Sea Salt with Sea Veg             } To Taste
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper }

 

Method:

Boil first four ingredients in 5 cups of water for at least 1/2 an hour. Meanwhile, cut top 1″ tip from each asparagus and cut the remaining stalks into 1/2″ pieces, set aside. Sauté 2 T butter and onion until translucent. Then add the stalks, salt, and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the seaweed broth, do not strain. Simmer, covered for 20 minutes or until asparagus becomes tender. Purée with an immersion blender or in batches in a conventional blender until smooth. Stir in cream and lemon juice. Sauté asparagus tips in remaining 1 T butter with another handful of Smoked Dulse, if desired. Add the tips (and dulse, if using) to the soup. Serve immediately.

Kelp Poached Salmon

The salmon is a light, yet decadent, main course to follow the richness of the deviled eggs and creamed asparagus soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs Atlantic Salmon Filet, approx 1″ thick
  • 4, 1-2″ Strips Kelp
  • 1 Large Red Onion, sliced in rings
  • 1 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Cup Water
  • Sea Seasonings® to taste

 

Method:

Cut salmon into 4, 6 oz portions. In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, place onion slices, then kelp strips, forming beds for the salmon pieces. Add the liquids and bring to a simmer. Place each portion, skin side down, on top of the kelp. Sprinkle with Sea Salt with Sea Veg and Dulse-Garlic and/or other sea seasonings of choice. Cover and allow to poach for 5-10 minutes, to desired doneness. Do not overcook. Garnish with a lemon slice or wedge and serve.

 

 

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Maine Nutritional Council Annual Conference 2019

The Point Community Center, South Portland, ME
April 3, 2019

This years’ college scholarship recipients.

The theme of this years’ Maine Nutrition Council Conference was  “Gut Nutrition? Exploring the Microbiome.” This topic is becoming increasingly relevant as the research around it expands and people in general become more health conscious. It is the mission of both the Maine Nutrition Council and Maine Coast Sea Vegetables to contribute to the health and well-being of Maine citizens. Therefore, we were very pleased to sponsor, host an exhibit, and attend this conference. It is likewise a mutual goal to help the people of Maine become aware of the abundant, healthy food available right here on our shores and in our soils and about the varied preparation practices we can use. To this end, part of our display this year was a “Kelp Kraut.” (see recipe below) It was crock-fermented for 2 weeks before it was jarred and refrigerated. Fermented foods contain enzymes that are beneficial to proper digestion and the fermentation process was a topic during several of the break-out sessions of the conference. Between sessions conference attendees visited the Maine Coast Sea Vegetables display and tried samples of the kraut, Kelp Krunch™, and some even tried Dulse, Laver, or Alaria. right out of the bag. Sea vegetables contain high quality prebiotic fibers. That is to say these fibers are good food for beneficial bacteria that are crucial for those trying to repopulate their gut microbiome.

Display table for attendees to visit during transition times.

The highlight of the conference was the unparalleled keynote speech delivered by Liz Lipski. Liz traveled from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine in order to share with us her knowledge and clinical experience concerning the health of our gut biome and how that relates to our overall health. She holds a PhD. in Clinical Nutrition, with two board certifications in clinical nutrition and one in functional medicine. She is part of the faculty for the Institute for Functional Medicine and the Metabolic Medicine Institute fellowship program. She shared many slides and statistics with us illustrating the extent to which digestive issues affect us as a population and how these issues actually reach far beyond discomfort into almost all aspects of our well-being. For example, “6% of us have chronic digestive diseases, 20% have GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease) at least weekly, and 46% have intermittent digestive issues.” All of these physical manifestations of ill health can be traced to the gut, but where else does the trail lead? It turns out the health of our gut can actually be reflected in the health of almost every other system in our body; our mental health, our cardio-vascular health, our inflammatory responses, etc. This is a rich, detailed topic. If you crave more in-depth information, check out the books Dr. Lipski has authored: Digestive Wellness, Digestive Wellness for Children, and Leaky Gut Syndrome and/or her website, lizlipski.com

Kelp Kraut available for tasting and recipe cards to take home!

Kelp Kraut Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 Heads Green Cabbage, about 4 lbs
  • 1 lb Carrots
  • 1 Jalapeño, diced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Dried Kelp, cut into pieces
  • 3 T Sea Salt with Sea Veg Sea Seasonings®

Method:

Finely shred the cabbage and carrots. Cut the kelp into 1/2″ pieces with scissors. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and knead the salt into the mixture. Place mixture in a fermenting crock or a wide-mouthed jar, press it down firmly, and use a weight to hold it submerged in its juices. Add brined water if the level does not cover the top of the mixture by the next day. Check the ferment every couple of days until the desired tanginess is reached. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container and ENJOY!

For detailed information about fermentation, visit: wildfermentation

~Kara Ibarguen

Outreach & Education

 

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Local Chefs’ Seaweed Workshop

Tasting and Note-taking at the Chefs’ Workshop

Enjoying a “Cup of Sea” Tea

Sea Seasoned Bloody Mary

Last Monday ten chefs representing six different local businesses visited us here at Maine Coast Sea Vegetables. We had invited them for a day of tasting, touring, and general seaweed exploration. The invitees included, catering companies, cafes, bakeries, restaurants, and inns. The enthusiasm was palpable! We started the day with an explanation of the eight species we work with here at MCSV; Sea Lettuce, Irish Moss, Dulse, Laver, Sugar Kelp, Alaria, Bladderwrack, and Rockweed. We also took a look at our map showing where each variety is harvested and continued with a tour of our facility.
After visiting the business offices, production, Krunch bakery, shipping, and the warehouse, we gathered in the Research & Development Kitchen. There we enjoyed a feast that was unparalleled. The menu was varied and represented all the elements you would find on any lunch or dinner menu. We started with Alaria-Fruit Smoothies, a collection of seaweed teas from Cup of Sea https://www.cupofsea.me/, and a Sea Seasoned Bloody Mary for beverages. You may soon be able to get one of those delicious Bloody Mary’s, garnished with a sprig of Alaria and Kelp with Cayenne on the rim, at our local pub!

Moving on to the appetizers, we feasted on fresh veggies and crackers dipped in Spicy Olive Tapenade, Lemon-Dulse Spread, and goat cheese rolled in Dulse with Garlic or Triple Blend (Dulse, Laver, & Sea Lettuce.) The main course featured an aromatic, hearty Seaweed Adzuki Stew (see recipe at bottom of page.) The stew has a base of slow-simmered Alaria and Dried Porcini Mushrooms for an earthy, mineral flavor. The sautéed onions and garlic along with the Kelp with Cayenne and Turmeric complete the flavor profile, while the stewed squash and Adzuki beans give it its thick, creamy texture. It was a huge hit!

Alaria-Adzuki Stew

To accompany the stew, we had freshly baked baguettes with three flavors of seaweed butter; Alaria, Triple Blend, and Dulse with Garlic. We also tried Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Dulse and Baked Tofu coated in a Sea Seasoned Dry Rub. The rub can be used on any meat or meat alternative with delicious, tender results.

 

Since no meal is complete without dessert, for sweets we savored Kelp Krunch, broken into crumbles, in both Original & Ginger flavor sprinkled over vanilla ice cream. We weren’t done yet though… We also indulged in “Pirate Brownies.”

Pirate Brownies

These are not your run-of-the-mill brownies; these have Dulse Flakes soaked in Dark Rum in them to give them an unforgettable and unique flavor sensation. Not only is the flavor outstanding, but rehydrating the Dulse Flakes before adding them prevents them from “stealing” moisture from the batter. They go well with vanilla ice cream too!
Our happy guests departed with satisfied bellies and minds full of ideas. Each attendee received a goody bag inside a reusable produce bag, that contained Whole Leaf Kelp, Nori Sheets, Dulse Flakes, Alaria Powder, Kelp Krunch, Sea Salt with Sea Veg shaker, and an MCSV “I get by with a little Kelp from my friends” 45th anniversary mug. Our goal was to build interest in cooking with sea vegetables and to create lasting relationships with our local culinary talents. We are thrilled to say it was an overwhelming success; we look forward to Chefs’ Workshop 2020! We also hope this event with encourage those who attended and their colleagues throughout Downeast Maine to join in as we celebrate Seaweed Week, April 26-May 4th.  https://www.facebook.com/seaweed.week/

 

Seaweed Adzuki Stew

Ingredients:

  • 2, 2″ wide strips of Alaria
  • 1 1/2 tsp Alaria Powder
  • 1 Vegetable Bouillon cube
  • 1 oz Dried Porcini Mushrooms
  • 2 Large Onions, diced
  • 2 Large Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 1 T Fresh Grated Ginger
  • 2 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tsp Hungarian Paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kelp w Cayenne Sea Seasonings®
  • Winter Squash of choice, about 2 lbs
  • 2, 15 oz Cans Adzuki Beans, drained

Method:

In a sauce pan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the first four ingredients, cutting the seaweed & mushrooms into small pieces with scissors. Allow to simmer while sautéeing the next three ingredients and the spices. Add small diced squash and cook until soft. Add the stock & beans. Salt & pepper to taste. Add more water as needed throughout cooking.

Serve with warm crusty bread and seaweed butter, ENJOY!

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Where’s the dulse?

Dulse likes to grow attached to rocks

Dulse (Palmaria palmata) has been prized by Maine Coast Sea Vegetable customers since we first offered it in the early 1980’s. Although some say dulse is an acquired taste, once acquired it’s with enthusiasm! Its complex flavor, deep red color, and soft chewy texture make dulse a ready to eat snack and a versatile ingredient in soups, salads, casseroles, or sandwiches, and smoked or fried dulse is delicious. As seaweed becomes more popular, and dare we say it, mainstream, so too does dulse. Indeed, we now have to ration our dulse so we can continue to offer it to the broadest customer base possible. Understandably, this raises concern with some customers that dulse is becoming scarce in the Gulf of Maine, perhaps yet another victim of climate change or the loss of ocean life.
Thankfully, this is not the case. Dulse is still harvested from the same remote bays in the northern Gulf of Maine as when we started. The supply hasn’t changed, and neither has our commitment to sustainable practices in harvesting, processing and merchandising — leaving more than we harvest, producing more than we consume, and giving back more than we take. This means we can’t meet increased customer demand by simply harvesting more dulse from our traditional grounds; we would have to discover new grounds. To understand why this is easier said than done, it helps to understand dulse ecology and harvesting.
Dulse is widely distributed in the cold waters of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, but it’s also found in warm temperate waters as far south as New Jersey in the Western Atlantic and along the coasts of Portugal and Spain. This shows that dulse may continue to thrive even as the Gulf of Maine and the North Atlantic grow warmer in coming decades. Throughout much of its range dulse is found as an epiphyte, meaning it grows attached to other plants, but not as a parasite. Picture a fern growing on a tree trunk. In many other places, though, dulse is epilithic, meaning it grows on rocks, similar to moss but with wavy fronds. However, despite its wide distribution, dulse is rarely found growing in beds thick enough to economically harvest. Only a few places in the world have the right combination of tides, wave action, rocky beaches, and unique ecological conditions to grow dulse in abundance. In particular, epilithic dulse seems to best thrive on fields of boulders that are just the right size…neither too large nor too small.

Harvesting dulse takes a strong back

Freshly harvested dulse is laid out for solar drying

Even when these conditions are met and dulse grows in abundance, there have to be harvesters nearby willing to undertake the hard work of bringing it to market. Most dulse is hand-harvested from a few special places in Ireland, Spain, Iceland, and the Bay of Fundy in the northernmost Gulf of Maine. Harvesting occurs from late spring until about November. A good time to harvest is when the tides are at their lowest, which happens when the moon is either new or full. These are known as drain tides. The best dulse is found low in the intertidal zone, and harvesters want to have at least two hours before the rising tide once again covers the beds. This might mean awakening at 3 AM to scramble about on slippery boulder fields under the light of the moon, or with no light at all but a torch! The fronds are firmly grasped and pulled away with a gentle tug, while always being careful to leave the holdfast and some vegetation behind for regrowth. The harvested dulse is then spread over netting on specially prepared fields of clean rocks for six to eight hours for solar drying. During periods of fog or rain, the dulse may be stored at the edge of the tidal zone in burlap sacks for up to a week until the sun returns.
Together, ecology and harvest combine to make dulse a very special seaweed. Although it’s abundant and widespread, it’s rarely found in enough abundance in any one place to support more than a few traditional fisheries. These fisheries have sustained coastal communities for generations.  As demand for dulse grows, we must take care to protect both the resource and the fishing communities that rely upon it as a source of income. There may yet be undiscovered dulse beds awaiting harvest, and someday farmers may grow dulse in the sea or in tanks.   But until then, we hope our customers understand that they may not always be able to buy as much dulse as they would like.

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Maine Science Festival 2019

Eels from “American Unagi” had there own fish bowl while the large tank played host to a slew of salt water critters!

Maine Coast Sea Vegetables’ Brendan White encourages curious students to taste the flavors offered by the sea in a variety of ways.

Over 550 7th and 8th graders from all over the state of Maine converged on the Cross Insurance Center today for a time of scientific exploration. It was the annual Maine Science Festival Field Trip Day https://www.mainesciencefestival.org/field-trip-day/ that brought them; and what a day it was! Maine Coast Sea Vegetables was there along with their friends from the UMaine Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research https://umaine.edu/cooperative-aquaculture/. They hosted a table complete with a sea creature touch tank with “Libby” the lobster and her friends the sea star, hermit crabs, a sea cucumber, and many more. The sea vegetable side of the table offered lots of tempting seaweed treats like Kelp Krunch Bars™, popcorn with Sea Seasonings®, and Applewood Smoked Dulse. The students and teachers alike delighted in the touch, taste, and feel of these invaluable sea treasures.

We look forward to coming back next year for more fun!

~Kara Ibarguen, Outreach & Education

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Sea Vegetable Cooking Workshop Coming Soon in Rockland

Alaria (Wild Atlantic Wakame) Salad with Sesame-Tamari Dressing

On Saturday, April 28th in Rockland, Maine, students at the Mid-Coast School of Technology Adult Education program will get their hands and taste buds on some delicious sea vegetable choices. Recipes to be explored include Whole Leaf Kelp-Fruit Smoothies, Dulse and Cheese Scones, Alaria Salad, Smoked Dulse Corn Chowder, and Irish Moss Lemon Pudding. Registration is still open and space is available. Come join Maine Coast Sea Vegetables’ Kelp Krunch Baker and Community Outreach member Kara Ibarguen for this flavorful journey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://midcoastadulted.coursestorm.com/course/cooking-with-sea-vegetables-4-28

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Alaria-Fruit Smoothies

Sea Vegetable display in the Trenton Elementary School cafeteria

Harvest of the Month: Sea Vegetables!

Trenton Elementary School is featuring Sea Vegetables as the “Harvest of the Month” all during the month of January. Through the coordination of their School Garden Committee, FoodCorps volunteer, cafeteria staff, and Maine Coast Sea Vegetables the students are learning first-hand about the sea plants that grow right in their front yard. The third grade got an introduction to sea veggies through a rehydration experiment in which they saw, touched, smelled, and even listened to pieces of sugar kelp that were first dry, then moistened, then fully immersed in water. They also got to taste Dulse and Kelp Krunch® and on Friday the whole school will be treated to Alaria-Fruit Smoothies at lunchtime. Yum! The recipe is below:

 Alaria-Fruit Smoothies

Alaria-Fruit Smoothie samples

 

  • One banana (fresh or frozen)
  • One cup frozen berries of choice (we like strawberries and/or blueberries)
  • One cup frozen mango
  • One cup milk of choice (unsweetened coconut is our choice)
  • One cup orange or other fruit juice
  • One teaspoon Alaria Powder
  • Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!!

~~DON’T FORGET TO EAT YOUR SEA VEGGIES!~~

 

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Happy New Year!

Welcome 2018…

Here’s to another year of providing healthy, delicious Sea Veggies!

From all of us here at Maine Coast Sea Vegetables to all of you,  our wonderful supporters, we hope the New Year brings you abundant joy and good health. Thank you for a fabulous year!

Happy New Year

~~AND DON’T FORGET TO EAT YOUR SEA VEGGIES~~

 

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Thanksgiving Tide

As the days shorten

and the air becomes chill,

we reflect on all that we are grateful for,

all that makes us who we are

here at Maine Coast Sea Vegetables…

So THANK YOU

to the rising and falling tide and all its bounty,

to our loyal customers the world over,

to those who have just discovered sea vegetables,

and those who have been life-long fans,

to all our co-workers, past and present,

to the harvesters and shippers,

and all those who have helped us along the way.

We are immeasurably blessed to live and work in such a beautiful place with such pristine waters. We are blessed and we are thankful. To all of you, we wish that you find peace and joy in the company of family and friends this holiday.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

~~from all of us at Maine Coast Sea Vegetables~~

 

 

 

 

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Local Schools Celebrate Maine Harvest Month

Local Schools Celebrate Maine Harvest Month

It’s Fall in Maine and that means that the root vegetables are being unearthed and the ground is being put to rest in preparation for the cold months ahead. Schools in the towns surrounding Maine Coast Sea Vegetables are adding a new harvest item to their menus this year. Accompanying the requisite potatoes and colorful rainbow carrots you’ll find our delicious Dulse with Garlic Sea Seasoning®, as well as Alaria powder, Kelp Blend, and Dulse Flakes.

Roasted Rainbow Carrots seasoned with Dulse with Garlic Sea Seasoning.

At their recent Harvest Meal Lunch, Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School students were treated to fluffy Maine blueberry pancakes, locally raised pork sausage, and roasted root vegetables with Dulse/Garlic. Staff and children alike delighted in the flavor combinations and praised the meal.

Enjoying the Harvest Meal at Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School.

Dulse Corn Chowder and Dulse Macaroni and Cheese are next on the docket for another local school. Finally, as the crowning achievement for getting sea vegetables to our local students, the University of Maine has been featuring a Manhattan Sea Vegetable Chowder (see recipe below) in their soup rotation all Fall. Our Kelp Krunch™ Seaweed Energy Bars can also be found at the lunch counters and general stores on the University campus. We are so pleased here at Maine Coast Sea Vegetables to be fueling the bodies and minds of our local youth. Here’s to all the adventurous palates and curious learners out there…you keep up the studies and we’ll keep up the sustainable harvest of these magnificent, nutrient-filled sea veggies!

Manhattan Sea Vegetable Chowder

Ginger Kelp Krunch ready for sampling by UMaine students

  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 2 cups green pepper, diced
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 4 tsp garlic, chopped fresh
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/8 cup Alaria powder
  • 1/8 cup Kelp Blend
  • 1/3 cup Dulse Flakes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 T parsley, chopped fresh
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 2/3 cups crushed, no-salt-added tomatoes, including juice
  • 3 quarts vegetable stock
  • 3 1/3 cups potatoes, diced and covered with water

Method

  1. Sauté garlic, onions, green peppers, celery, carrots, and the dry herbs in olive oil until starting to turn tender and brown
  2. Add all remaining ingredients except potatoes in water
  3. Bring soup to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes
  4. In a separate pot, bring potatoes to a boil and cook 15 minutes. Allow soup to continue to simmer while potatoes cook
  5. Add potatoes and their cooking water to the soup and simmer for 15 minutes
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste
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