Scientists at Oregon State University have been collaborating with Portland’s Food Innovation Center to find the best ways to use dulse, a specific super-nutritious seaweed strain that just so happens to taste like salty, smoky bacon.

Packed with 16 percent protein, dulse also happens to have twice the nutritional value of kale. Considering an overconsumption of kale could lead to not-so-pleasurable symptoms, we’d argue it’s a ripe time for bacon-flavored seaweed to hit the scene.

bacon seaweed small

Photo: KGW Portland

What makes this seaweed taste like bacon? Researcher Chris Langdon says that all you have to do is smoke dulse like you would a side of bacon, and voilà. The salty flavor profile is already there; all it needs is a little smoke to bring it out.

Portland’s own acclaimed (Iron) Chef Vitaly Paley has been experimenting with dulse and serving it at his restaurants. “People of course love anything fried,” Paley said. He adds,

“My job is to make customers understand that it’s not just good for them, but that it’s something that they really want to eat. So, at first, they didn’t know they needed it, but now they can’t live without it. It’s my job to get them to that place.”

This particular strain of dulse is a red marine algae that grows along both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. It isn’t currently available for sale commercially, but scientists hope to have it on grocery store shelves in both raw and smoked forms later this year.

[via KGW Portland]