The interest towards ethnic recipes has highly taken over also in Italy. The reason is not only the increment of the foreign people in the country, but also the growing curiosity that people have regarding food and products from the “others”.
If, at the beginning in the ‘90s, eating ethnic food meant going to a Chinese restaurant or some American fast food, nowadays the multicultural recipes and food are a real matter of fashion, and are also becoming a high part of the homemade kitchen. Looking to the Italian food habits, we find in fact out that the consumption of ethnic food increased by 18% in comparison to the last year.
The most used products are definitely seaweed, a highly nutritional product, with a lot of proteins and minerals. Dehydrated and crumbled, and also steamed or sautéed, they can be used both as a condiment and as main dish.
That’s the reason why Probios conceived a complete line of seaweed, gluten free, organic certified, hand -picked in Europe and dehydrated at low temperatures.
Among those, an extremely famous variety especially in the oriental diets, the kombu: a brown wide leafed seaweed, crunchy and fleshy, with a strong flavor. Ideal as a side dish or to be added to legumes while they’re cooking.
The most famous one is by the way the nori, from the Porphyra variety, it is used almost every day in Japan, thanks to its pleasant flavor and its versatility. Flaked or in sheets, it’s used to prepare the Japanese “maki” and has a cartilaginous consistency and a smoky fishy flavor. You can rehydrate it and add it to stews, soups, croquettes, omelettes, pasta, rice or couscous.
The wakame is also extremely well known, it has a black-green color, it’s fleshy and crunchy and has a strong taste. It is traditionally used to prepare the miso soup, and it’s a natural source of proteins.
A good alternative is the dulse, soft and with a unique and particular “spicy” flavor. It’s used to prepare soups and condiments and it’s high in plant based calcium.
To prepare gelatins, desserts and aspics, the ideal is instead the agar-agar, a selection of red seaweed (Gelidium, Gracalaria) with jelling properties and a neutral flavor. You only need to cook it with water and let it sit in the fridge or at room temperature.
Ultimately, seaweed are an excellent source of nutrients to serve with original recipes. However, it’s very important to pay attention to the products we buy: as always, it’s better to prefer organic versions, certified and high quality.