Culinary experts, national tourist boards and University students are all currently focused on one Scottish delicacy - seaweed

Praised for is health benefits and great taste, it appears that Scotland’s seaweed is set to be among the next global food trends, according to VisitScotland and seaweed experts Mara Seaweed.

With the growing focus on healthy eating, the low-calorie, high-energy food has become a key ingredient in fine dining and is looking to break into every day cooking experiences. It is believed that this trend will continue to increase throughout the world.

Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh has been conducting extensive research in to the health benefits of Scotland’s natural larder.

Dr Jane McKenzie, Academic Lead for Food & Drink Knowledge Exchange at Queen Margaret University said:

“Scottish seaweed contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Variety is important in ensuring a good nutritional intake and seaweed is a versatile option for including throughout the diet. As a result, seaweed may ultimately contribute towards reducing the risk of chronic disorders, particularly those related to high blood pressure and poor dietary habits.”

2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a 12 month celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and unique dining experience.

VisitScotland believes that the increased popularity of the ingredient could help encourage foodie fans from both Scotland and overseas to come and sample authentic Scottish seaweed. Visitors can taste, forage and buy seaweed in various locations throughout the country, including a range of restaurants on Scotland’s Seafood Trail.

Mara’s chief seaweed harvester Rory Macphee, added: “In Scotland we have an ideal habitat for seaweed. Firstly, the low human density and reduced activity in the coastal zone results in purer waters.

Secondly, seaweed is mineral greedy and Scotland’s fearsome tides are exactly what seaweeds need for high nutrient exchange.”

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