This scrumptious, beautiful, annual kelp grows only in the cold, moving water of the Northeast Pacific Ocean, from Northern California to Southern Alaska.
The Kelp forms dense " Kelp Forests" in areas of fast currents, usually in channels between islands.
Nereocystisis luetkeana extracts its 'food' from the surrounding ocean water and not through its' roots', which functions solely as a hold fast anchor. In addition, the fronds or ' leaves' absorb sunlight and store this energy within their cells.
Most of the growth occurs during the warm and bright summer months. Location and weather directly influence the all over health and appearance of the Kelp. Water temperature also is an important factor. Bullwhip Kelp thrives in the cold temperate water of the Pacific Northeast only.
It's long, strong stipes grow from attached holdfasts on rocky sea floors at the depths of up to 100ft.(30m). Its many, 6" to 12" (15 to 30cm) wide, thick tender leaves or fronds grow out of a hollow bulb at the top of each solitary stipe. These fronds can grow to 60ft. (18m) in length. The bulb is filled with Carbon Monoxide for floatation.
British Columbia probably offers the best all over conditions, which the Kelp can wish for. The wet, rugged coast line, with its many streams and water flows, releases a bounty of nutrients into the coastal waters. The combination of these factors make ideal growing conditions for healthy, strong Kelp. We are privileged to be able to select from the finest Kelp there is.
During the harvest, only the fronds are carefully hand harvested, trimmed with stainless steel scissors, about 12" (30cm) above the bulb, therefore leaving the kelp to regrow.
The harvested fronds contain many Minerals and Vitamins. Once dried, the content is 25% to 50% Mineral, predominantly Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Iodine, plus
a number of Vitamins.
The salt on this dried kelp comes from within the Kelp and is predominantly Potassium rather than Sodium. The taste is very salty but remains relatively low in sodium.
Fucus gardneri is a perennial seaweed, found in the cold temperate intertidal regions of the Northeastern Pacific, from Northern California to Alaska. Fucus gardneri along with Fucus spiralis, Fucus vesiculosis and others of the same Fucus family, are represented in northern hemispheric waters.
Fucus gardneri is found on rocky shores and can thrive in wave sheltered to moderately wave exposed conditions.
The plant reaches 16" (40 cm) in length,and consists of many branches with little inflated bulbs at their tips.
These little buoys float the plant in an upright position, when surrounded by tidal water, enabling the plant to absorb the most nutrition and sunlight, while submerged.
The bulbs also contain crevices, which house the reproductive structures, that bear both egg and sperm, once maturity is reached.
Fucus gardneri can almost be considered a complete food, since it not only contains protein and essential fatty acids, but also many minerals, especially Iodine, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamins A, B, C, D and E.
About Kelp and Bladderwrack
Bladderwrack growing on rocks at shoreline
Bladderwrack close up of bladders
How to store dried seaweed: To Keep Seaweed crispy dry and preserve freshness, promptly store in an air tight container. A glass jar with a screw on lid or (tupperware or tupperware type container) in a dry cupboard, away from heat and sunlight.
Even though the seaweed is carefully checked for small pebbles and shells, you may find the rare one. So please give it a quick look before using.