"Life Down on the Kelp Farm," Wall Street Journal
Remember when we visited our friend Bren’s oyster and kelp farm in the Long Island Sound last September? Well we’ve been in cahoots ever since, trying to raise the profile of kelp and seaweed among American palates. It’s incredibly good for you, very sustainable (unlike greens from the land, it doesn’t need to be fertilized or watered), and actively cleans our waters.
… but leave it to me and M. to find the one way it wouldn’t be all that healthy: kelp cocktails.
M. infused neutral grain spirits with Bren’s kelp (pictured above, before it was strained). The result is delightfully briny with hints of black tea. It would make the most elegant dirty martini ever, and also pairs beautifully with smoky mezcal and citrus or savory flavors like aquavit, carrot juice, and verjus.
We’re taking our friend Chef Dave of Louro out to the farm this Sunday. Watch out — kelp’s taking over!
BRANFORD, Conn.—From the bobbing deck of his 24-foot boat in Long Island Sound, a quarter mile from shore, Bren Smith pulled out of the water a rope draped with ribbon-shaped blades of fresh sugar kelp.
He grabbed a few handfuls of the green, nearly translucent variety of seaweed for samples he planned to serve at lunch with a chef and organic farmer. Mr. Smith, who has cultivated shellfish such as oysters and clams for years, is now also a seaweed farmer. He said his fellow fishermen have been skeptical.
"They think I’m crazy," he said. They ask, “‘Why would anyone eat seaweed? It’s stuff you find on the beach.’" […]
Mayur Subbarao of Bittermens Spirits, a liquor company in New Orleans, also has been experimenting with Mr. Smith’s kelp by infusing various boozy concoctions with it. “I haven’t had anybody say these things are weird,” Mr. Subbarao said. “If anything, I think people are intrigued.”