Sea Lettuce (Ulva lactuca) is a green algae that grows in sea water. It is popularly known as the salad greens of sea vegetables. This leafy, bright green seaweed is eaten raw in salads or can be added to soups. It has a distinctive flavor and aroma that makes it one of the main ingredients in cuisines all over the world. It is a good source of protein, iron, minerals, fiber, and Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Vitamin C.
It is widely used in Continental and Asian cuisines. They grow naturally on rocky shores of seas and oceans around the world.
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 Lettuce
Sea Lettuce has a salty taste. It 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.