Saturday, 10 November 2012

Marine Moment - Dulse

Dulse (Palmaria palmate), also known as red dulse or sea lettuce, is from the red algae family. Dulse is made up of a thallus comprised of several separate leaflets or bunches of leaves attached to a short stipe or stem.  The leathery blades or leaves branch off to look almost like fingers. It can be many colors from a rose color to a deep red/purple.  You will find dulse attached to rocks, pebbles or even other seaweeds from the mid to low intertidal zone and up to depths of 3m.  Dulse is a very high source of potassium and is a popular snack food on the east coast.  While dulse can be consumed as soon as it is harvested, most often it is dried in the sun and sometimes powdered for use in other food products. 
One location where dulse is harvested is Grand Manan Island; where it is a large part of the local economy.  In order to harvest the dulse, people go out at low tide and snip the dulse from its stipe, leaving the holdfast, which is similar to a land plant’s roots.  They leave the holdfast intact so that the dulse may re-grow and continue to be harvested.  Grand Manan Island is said to have some of the most flavorful dulse in the world due to its environmental growing conditions. Yum!

One way to eat Dulse is fresh, as in a salad.

The most common way is to eat it sundried like a chip.

It is also used in flake or powder form in sauces.

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