Bay of Fundy Dulse

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Wadakuna'sikjech (in lingua Mi'kmag)

Dulse (Palmaria palmata) is a type of red seaweed that grows in the intertidal zone of the North Atlantic. It is particularly prevalent in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, home of the world’s highest tides. Fronds may vary in colour from rose to reddish-purple, and range from about 20 to 40 cm in length. Dulse from the Bay of Fundy is hand harvested during low tide and naturally air-dried on netting or directly on the shoreline rocks. This usually takes place from June until September and, as Dulse grows quickly, the same shores often have be picked every two weeks in correspondence with the lunar cycle. Harvesters remove only a portion of the plant to allow it to continue growing.Dulse is sold as whole dried fronds or in a powdered form. Often eaten as a snack food it is also used in traditional chowders, stews and creams as a natural flavouring and thickener. Dulse has a natural rich briny flavour, which is reminiscent of the sea. It is a wonderful source of protein and high in many other essential nutrients. Its nutritious qualities have made it a popular snack for travellers throughout history, especially as it is naturally preserved through dehydration, making it very easy to transport. Many fishermen supplemented their shipboard diet with dulse while at sea. A traditional food of the First Nations communities (wadakuna’sikjech in Mi’kmag), dulse was also an important food source for the Acadians and early Scottish and Irish settlers. It remained part of the Nova Scotia diet for several hundred years, until the 1960’s when an explosion of commercial snack foods supplanted its popularity. This decline in consumer preference and increasing shoreline pollution continues to threaten the existence of this natural Canadian maritime foodstuff.While still sold as a tourist product, it is virtually lost as a regular ingredient in everyday cooking and very few Atlantic Canadian children have ever tasted it. Increasingly restaurants are beginning to incorporate Dulse into their menus in an effort to reinvigorate interest in the product. Picture: http://bayoffundy.com 

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Arca del GustoThe traditional products, local breeds, and know-how collected by the Ark of Taste belong to the communities that have preserved them over time. They have been shared and described here thanks to the efforts of the network that Slow Food has developed around the world, with the objective of preserving them and raising awareness. The text from these descriptions may be used, without modifications and citing the source, for non-commercial purposes in line with the Slow Food philosophy.