Dulse (Palmaria Palmata): improve your culinary skills for better innovations

Palmaria Palmata or dulse is a small red species of seaweed that has become popular amongst seaweed-eaters in France, England, Ireland, Norway and Canada. Very abundant throughout the year along the coast of Brittany, it can be eaten either raw or cooked. However, before including it in one’s recipes, it is worthwhile to better understand the features and culinary properties of dulse.

Dulse is a small sized type of seaweed that can vary in colour from brick red to purple. It grows on rocky substrate, below the mid-tide level, in an environment that is generously ventilated by currents. Depending on its maturity, it can be more or less fleshy. Young shoots are almost translucent and quite tender, while older plants have a thicker, more resilient texture.

Its purplish red tint can be useful for adding colour to certain food preparations. However, this colour is very heat sensitive. If dipped into boiling water it will instantly turn from red to bronze, thus losing its original appeal.

However, another feature can help to avoid this colour change. Indeed, the colour of dulse is also very sensitive to pH. Thus, if it cooks in slightly acidified water or broth, its red colour can be preserved.

pH has another interesting effect on this seaweed. Even though it tenderizes fairly quickly during cooking (unlike other species of seaweed …), this property can be significantly accelerated under acidified conditions. Therefore, a simple adjustment of the pH and cooking time is required to obtain the ideal texture and colour.

How about its taste?? Here too, dulse has great advantages. When eaten raw, its flavour is fairly sweet, iodized with hints of hazelnut. When cooked, it develops more assertive tastes with soft and suave notes that remind the palate of the world of shellfish and crustaceans.

All of its characteristics allow for dulse to be included in a variety of culinary universes. Raw, it is rather associated with tangy environments: raw salads, vinaigrette, mayonnaise, cold dip sauce… Cooked, it can be stir-fried in butter or in oil with mixed vegetables, it can be used to flavour a broth, as an addition to a cream sauce, omelette, or to make bread … With its red colour, tender texture and subtle taste, dulse is a rather easy-to-use type of seaweed. Thanks to the facts described above, you can now get a handle on dulse more serenely and create new healthy, gourmet and creative recipes.

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