Researchers develop seaweed that tastes like bacon

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NEWPORT, Ore. (KOIN) – You’ve heard – and possibly used the line – about a certain food that “tastes like chicken.”

Oregon State University researchers have gone one better: they’ve patented a new strain of seaweed that, when cooked, tastes like bacon.

A “succulent red marine algae called dulse” grows very fast, has a lot of protein and, well, tastes like bacon when it’s cooked, an OSU release said.

The seaweed grows wild along both US coasts and when it’s harvested sells for about $90 per pound, OSU officials said.

This particular strain of of dulse “looks like translucent red lettuce” and has been created over the past 15 years by researcher Chris Langdon at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center.

Another OSU faculty member, Chuck Toombs, had the idea for a new industry for Oregon and worked with OSU’s Food Innovation Center in Portland, university officials said.

They got a grant from the Oregon Department of Agriculture and did many tests and trials. A full-fledged industry wasn’t likely or feasible – but when it’s cooked, it tastes like bacon.

“Theoretically, you could create an industry in eastern Oregon almost as easily as you could along the coast with a bit of supplementation,” Langdon said in a statement. “You just need a modest amount of seawater and some sunshine.”

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