For the past 20 years, a group of scientists from Oregon State University (OSU) have been studying a fast-growing strain of red marine seaweed called dulse. Get this: It's supposed to taste like bacon.
"Dulse normally grows in the wild along the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines and is harvested, dried and sold as a cooking ingredient or nutritional supplement," notes TIME.
Anyway, the OSU team had begun researching ways of farming the new strain of dulse to feed abalone. However, they've just recently realized "its potential to do well in the human-food market." The reports don't say why it took them so long to have this epiphany.
In a Prevention magazine feature, Chris Langdon, head researcher of OSU's bacon seaweed project, explained that dulse's main appeal isn't its bacon-like taste. According to him, "all dulse tastes like bacon if you cook it up just right." The report pointed pointed out that "what's special about this particular strain is that it grows quickly, which Langdon hopes will make it an efficient and lucrative crop."
But we may have to wait a while before dulse is easily available to the whole world.
"The US currently has no commercial operation that sanctions dulse for human consumption, but the team is optimistic that their product would be sold commercially in food markets in the near future," points out the Inquirer.
Meanwhile, those who have been able to taste dulse say that its flavor won't exactly fool bacon lovers. The taste, though, is said to be "close enough for it to be used as a substitute."
Well, until we actually taste dulse, we won't be rejoicing just yet.