An ice cream we make from seaweed. But søl is is much more beautiful a name.
Søl is a red algae, dulse in English (Palmaria palmata for all you taxonomy nerds) and it is remarkable.
The process is very simple: we infuse it into milk, add a touch of cream and sugar, and freeze. Our pacojet takes care of the rest.
To eat it is to go somewhere new. To me, it unfolds in a certain way: first, the bitter/sweet note of green tea, lush, and a fragrancy that falls into deeper aromas – herbs like woodruff and licorice. Last is an umami that heaves and rests across the mouth. With some bites, you get touched with a thrilling shiver of brine, but it never stays for long before dissolving into tea and herb and the resolve for one more spoon.
We serve it with a beetroot reduction with a bit of woodruff and star anise. The deep sweet earth of the beet grounds the delicate flavours of the ice, and the woodruff and star anise bring out its natural aromas.
Certainly a new way to serve seaweed. Indeed they are beautiful vegetables, and grow the world over in all sorts of colours, textures, and forms. They also pack a highly nutritious punch, and can be cultivated easily and, when done responsibly, can play a crucial role in reviving depressed marine ecosystems. Plus, they have huge gastronomic potential. All reasons the Lab is researching them further, to develop interesting applications for them in Nordic cuisine.
Most people, when they think of seaweed, think of something smelly rotting on the beach. But this, as we say at the lab, is like thinking only of the apples rotting on the orchard ground and missing the beautiful ones in the trees.
If we can get people in the Nordic region, where there isn’t so much a tradition of eating seaweeds, to think about these vegetables differently, that is the first step to incorporating them into a common gastronomic vocabulary. And who doesn’t like ice cream? It’s a pretty great way to deliver that first taste.
So, in the spirit of first tastes, here’s the recipe.
My hope is that after tasting our ice cream, people will see food instead of when they next visit the beach or go to sea; that they will look around them and begin to engage with their landscape in terms of edibility, and the potential for delicious and enriching experiences.
Plus, it’s just a great way to put up one’s feet and finish a day.
Bonus: a piece I wrote about this beautiful thing back in the summer, for my friend Sharda’s wellness website diaforlife. That’s how much I love it.