We recently launched our product in the UK, at the Just V show in the Olympia, London. It was a really nerve wracking but exciting experience and we met so many interesting people. We received a lot of interest in our products and had a range of reactions to the idea of having seaweed in a sweet, healthy snack! Some people were aware of the benefits of seaweed and so were immediately drawn to our product. Others were surprised at the idea.
For many people; seaweed is the annoying black stuff that lies on the beach in your way, as you walk barefoot on the sand. In fact, seaweed has been eaten by people for several generations. Irish people have a long tradition of eating dilisk (dulse) and carrageen moss. In Connemara, people eat dilisk as a salty snack, directly from the shoreline. Carageen moss was traditionally used to make a soothing drink for respiratory issues and also to make jelly or mousse. Japan, Korea and China also have a tradition of using seaweed products in their cooking. Many people are appalled at the idea of eating seaweed, but as our new customers discovered, it is a pleasant surprise! By mixing the ground seaweed with other tasty, natural ingredients, the strong salty ‘seaweedy’ taste is not as prominent.
Several people asked us…Why Seaweed? The answer is simple… Seaweed is loaded with nutrients, including: Vitamins, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, iodine, as well as protein. It is recommended that we need just a little bit of seaweed everyday – just 1-2 g (a teaspoon) will give you a boost of nutrients. Here at Sáile we are trying to spread the word about seaweed and are also trying to make it easier (and tastier) for you to have that daily seaweed dose! If we can all start making seaweed a normal addition to our cooking, it will have long term benefits for all of us and our children. Several Irish companies are now selling seaweed sprinkles that you can keep beside you cooker and simply add into sauces, soups or sprinkle on salads. We are currently making dry mix products that contain seaweed and other organic ingredients, which are easy to make at home. We are also developing ideas for new products, including savoury snacks.
Seaweed is potentially a sustainable food source that is loaded with goodness and can be incorporated into daily cooking. Take a look at www.wildatlanticseagarden.ie and www.seaweed.ie for more detailed information on the need to develop sustainable harvesting procedures. We are lucky in Ireland in that we are surrounded by the sea and surrounded by a food source that is under-utilised. Nature has provided us with a food source that has anti bacterial, anti viral and antioxidant properties. Let’s start using it more!