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Hall's Harbour Dulse: Bacon of the Sea

What is Dulse?

Dulse is a wild seaweed that grows on the North Atlantic coast of Britain. Its Gaelic name is duileasg, and the fronds are long and membranous with a dark reddish-purple translucent hue. It formed part of a regular diet for coastal-dwelling communities in Scotland and Northern Ireland for centuries, as it is highly rich in vitamins and minerals, and a good source of protein! It is a very versatile ingredient; it can be eaten raw, having a salty flavour and chewy texture, like a natural chewing gum. It can also be dried and consumed as a snack or added to broths and stews to enhance the flavour and act as a thickener!


Coastal communities have been harvesting dulse for - known as “dulsing”- for hundreds of years! There is evidence that the Irish monks of Saint Columba’s era harvested dulse over 1400 years ago.


Dulse in small snack bags

Dulse in Atlantic Canada

In the 1600s, the first peoples of the East Coast offered dulse European sailors who were plagued by scurvy. Known now as “bacon of the sea” because of its salty and savoury taste, dulse has a lot more health benefits than “land bacon.” Dulse is protein-dense seaweed that is high in vitamins and minerals, and offered great benefit to the nutrient deprived sailors.


Dulse can be found all along the shores of Atlantic Canada and, you guessed it, right here in Hall’s Harbour! Whether you are a local or visiting for a short while, dulse is a must-have East-Coast staple!

How is it Harvested?

Man on rocky shore harvesting dulse seaweed

Yet to be commercialized, dulse continues to be harvested by hand. Gatherers must set sail and wait for the tide to go out to eventually gather swathes of dulse that cling to the rocks in the shallows. Gathered in large quantities, it is then set out to dry in large batches or several hours.


Dulse can be harvested from June through to September, and can range in size from 20 to 40cm! When dulse is picked, a portion of the seaweed is left behind so it can continue to grow. During the summer months, dulse can grow so fast that harvesters can gather every two weeks!


Where to Get Hall's Harbour Dulse?

Parker’s General Store is a well known one-stop-shop for all your wants and needs when you visit Halls Harbour. From local art, souvenirs, and snacks, it should definitely be on your list when visiting Hall’s Harbour.


Dulse - “the best damm dulse around“ - has been available from Parker’s General Store for more than 100 years. People come back year after year for the quality of Parker’s dulse!


How Should I Enjoy Dulse?

There are so many ways you can incorporate delicious, Nova Scotian dulse into your diet!

1. Eat it as a snack

  • Dried dulse is a salty, savoury snack that is an East Coast favourite! Next time you visit us, be sure to pick up a bag to snack on while you walk the shore!

2. Flakes or Powder

  • Dried dulse can be crushed up into flakes or powder to add into a variety of different recipes! While it adds an awesome boost of energy and nutrients, it also has amazing flavour. Try sprinkling it on your popcorn or even adding flakes to homemade salad dressings!

3. Try adding a whole piece of dulse the next time you are pickling veggies!

4. Steep dulse in water to make your own tea

5. Mix in your stir fry or top your favourite dishes with a sprinkle of dulse flakes!


Our Must-Try Dulse Recipe

Dulse-licious Popcorn

Recipe photo of dulse mixture sprinkled on popcorn

Ingredients

1 cup of popcorn kernels

2 tbsp dulse flakes

1 tbsp lemon juice

½ tbsp of olive oil

¼ tsp pepper


Directions

While your popcorn is popping, mix lemon juice, olive oil, dulse flakes, and pepper in a small bowl. Mix until well combined.

In a large bowl, drizzle dulse mixture over popcorn. Toss until evenly coated & enjoy!


If you’re visiting Nova Scotia, especially us here in Hall's Harbour, be sure to pick up some dulse to give this delicious & nutritious superfood a try! How could you not love sea bacon?!



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