Sea Grapes (Coccoloba uvifera) are a greenish algae that grows in sea water. It is widely used in Indian and Asian cuisines. They grow naturally in in shallow waters off the coast of Asia and Pacific Ocean. It is cultivated off the sea coast in most countries. Sea Grapes can grow up to 15 meters in height.
Sea Grapes are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B2, Folate, Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Iron, Copper, Iodine and Biotin.
Cultivating and Harvesting
Sea Grapes needs sea water and sunlight. Large scale and commercial cultivation of this seaweed is followed in parts of Asia, Europe and the Americas along the sea coast. They also grow naturally in abundance along these coastlines. Harvesters generally harvest them from their natural habitat. The best time to harvest is at low tide. Harvesters wade into the shallow waters and cut the sea weed.
Harvesting is done using using scissors or garden clippers. Pulling of the seaweed from the base is not recommended. Harvesters cut off only about half the size of the seaweed. This allows Dulse to grow back.
Usually, after a big storm, piles of fresh seaweed are washed ashore. Harvesters collect these and use them for food.
Consuming and Storing Sea Grapes
Sea Grapes have a salty taste. They can be eaten raw. It is normally dried or roasted and packed for commercial uses. It is mostly added to vegetables, soups, stocks, grains, beans, or stew dishes. It can also be pickled or deep-fried.