Carrageen (Chondrus crispus)
Carrageen is one of the most beautiful seaweeds and can be used rehydrated in salads, pickled as a garnish on dishes, as topping on pies or as a garnish in cocktails, as gelatine or gel made of gelatine can be used as a daily diet supplement or extremely effective moisturising agent in skincare.
Carrageen has a high content of minerals, iodine, potassium, natrium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and trace elements, Iron, mangan, zink, copper and selenium, vitamins A, C, E, and B and nearly 10% of its dry weight is protein.
Carrageen, also called Irish moss, is a red seaweed which can grow up to 10 cm long’ its growth is greater at deeper depth and it varies in morphology depending on the level of exposure. Carrageen colour also varies from yellow to red to purple black depending on their exposure to oxygen. Its main constituent is polysaccharide carrageenan (E407), vegetarian thickening agent.
Traditionally in Ireland and Scotland it is boiled in milk and strained, before adding sugar and other flavourings such as whiskey, vanilla or cinnamon. The end product is jelly-like, similar to panna-cotta.
Carrageen is used commercially as a vegan replacement for gelatine, as a thickener and stabilizer in milk products, and can be also milled and used in baking.
Carrageen tastes like a mixture of vegetable and seafood with a profound umami flavour. The jelly after cooking is tasteless