A Dutch startup, just six months old, called Seamore has big dreams for seaweed. Himanthalia, commonly known as sea spaghetti, is migrating from the seafloor to the dinner plate. It’s being pitched as a healthy substitute for pasta, providing the same texture while increasing vegetable intake. And while it’s not well-known yet, Seamore hopes that it will become a household item soon.
According to the company’s founder, Willem Sodderland, himanthalia is a simple and elegant carb replacement, allowing consumers to eat their favorite foods while being “much more healthy and sustainable.”
Harvested by hand, himanthalia is rinsed and dried while preserving its core nutrients, before being packed and sold to consumers. The sea vegetable — Willem’s preferred term — is only found along Europe’s Atlantic Coast.
So far, sea spaghetti has proved to be popular among its target audience, primarily low-carb dieters and the gluten-intolerant, looking to still be able to enjoy delicious spaghetti dishes. However, because of the small supply and sustainable harvesting practices (Seamore only takes about 15 percent of the available himanthalia, which takes two years to grow back), the company is looking to cultivate the plant themselves. This long-term effort will help bring Seamore’s high price point — it now costs $5.57 plus shipping for 5 servings — into closer competition with that of pasta, says Stoddard.
Seamore’s product is already in Dutch supermarkets and selling in six European countries. However, America, with its long-standing squeamishness about food (try to picture yourself eating any of these dishes), might be more reticent about trying seaweed pasta.
But in a world where people are being more creative with their food each day, perhaps seaweed (and its 10,000 species) will be food’s newest frontier, and carb-conscious folks’ new niche love.