Sugar Kelp (saccharina latissima)
Kelp grows in thick sub-tidal beds with adult individuals reaching an average length of 10-15 feet, forming a forest like environment in shallow water. Harvesting kelp is akin to thinning a stand of trees, selectively cutting and managing individual beds in accordance with their ability to regenerate.
The glutamates in kelp enhance the flavor of other ingredients and contribute a pleasant savory taste to food, known in Japanese as umami. Kelp also contains high levels of fucoidan and alginate, complex polysaccharides that have been shown to stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, and aid in the removal of heavy metals from the body.
Cut the strips of dry seaweed into bite-sized pieces with scissors and add to rice, soups, stews, chowders, and pot roasts. Added to beans at the beginning of cooking, kelp will improve their digestibility, thicken the texture, and enrich the overall flavor of the finished dish. Cook for 20-30 minutes to tenderize, or simmer all day to dissolve.
Crisp the kelp in a low heat skillet or oven and process into flakes with an electric coffee grinder. Cut up 1 stick of butter into small slices and blend thoroughly with 2-3 TBSP of dulse flakes using a stiff spoon or other available kitchen implement.