You read it right: the Dutch Weed Burger. A start-up in the Netherlands recently launched its signature product, a plant-based burger, bun, and sauce combo that has seaweed or microalgae in each component–“kombu” in the burger, chlorella in the bun, and sea lettuce in the sauce. All the algae, the company says on their website, comes from Dutch waters.
Recently the Guardian blog has run two stories featuring seaweed: this one on seaweed snacks and foods of the future, and one predicting the ‘food crazes we will go mad for’ in 2015 (seaweed is number 3!). Both articles mention Belfast, Maine’s Marshall Wharf Brewing Co., which started brewing a Scotch ale with Sugar Kelp (Saccharina latissima) grown by Maine Fresh Sea Farms this past summer. (woohoo!)
Back in the early 1970s when Shep and Linnette Erhart started Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, they originally called the new enterprise “Maine Seaweed Company.” But the term sea vegetables was chosen, to help change the perception that seaweed is just the gooey, slimy stuff washed up on the beach, or just a “weed.” (And of course weeds don’t get the respect they deserve…but that’s another story.) In more recent years, the terms sea vegetables and seaweed are used more interchangeably, and seaweed is getting recognized more and more as a nutrient-dense and delicious food. Are we coming full circle now–not just using the term seaweed in a positive way, but fully embracing the weed? We’d like to think so!
Ready for my close up: Gulf of Maine Sugar Kelp drying. Photo: Sarah Redmond
Now, just have to plan a trip to the Netherlands so we can try that burger…