Découvrez notre E-SHOP !! J’Y VAIS !

History of seaweed

The edible seaweed found in Brittany is incredibly rich. With each high tide, we start to pick the seaweed which we use to make our organic seaweed tartares and other tasty recipes.

  • Roscoff A unique place

    Roscoff, formerly Privateer trademark, inspires the wonder of discoveries and adventures. The quality of sea water as well as good lighting promote considerable diversity of marine species.

    It is here that the largest seaweed bed in Europe can be found! This wild coast called “legends” is an invitation to the discovery of new flavours. Roscoff is unquestionably the seaweed capital in France!

  • Seaweed and the golden belt

    Sea Lettuce, Dulse, Nori, Kombu Royal, Sea Spaghetti and Wakame are the new ingredients of your kitchen.

    Red, green or brown, they offer a beautiful palette of colours, textures and flavours.
    Their subtle aromas evoke the marine flavours of oysters and crustaceans, but also earthy flavours like sorrel and mushrooms.
    Their delicate fragrance is easy to associate in the kitchen with seaweed.

    Formerly, seaweed was part of the daily life of inhabitants of the Breton seashore. They were used to enrich the cultures, and then later to extract the sodium and iodine discovered by Bernard Courtois.

  • Organic A label for seaweed

    In addition to being delicious, the seaweed has borne the EU organic label since 2011…

    To obtain this label, the seaweed must be harvested in areas of High Environmental Quality, namely those which present a good ecological and chemical status. In addition, they must have an A or B classification like shellfish areas. 
The organic label also oversees harvesting practices in order to manage the resource in a sustainable way.

    A working group led by Initiative Bio Bretagne (IBB) and the Chambre Syndicale des Algues et des Végétaux Marins (CSAVM) bringing together pickers, scientists, processing companies and the administration has helped to develop the GOOD PRACTICES GUIDE HERE

  • Seasons go with the flow

    Seaweed seasons are intertwined and it is during high tides that the harvester is active!
    Every year, the Finisterian coast, a real seaweed deposit, provides professional pickers with an exceptional quality edible seaweed. This is a dream job when the conditions are mild! But it is often more severe when the weather is unleashed.

    At the whim of the seasons...
    As winter ends, the harvesting of Kombu Royal and Wakame begins. In the spring, Dulse, Sea Spaghetti, Nori and Sea Lettuce then take their turn. The harvest stops in the heat of the summer and resumes again in the fall for Nori, Dulse and Sea Lettuce.

    With the rhythm of the tides
    Gravitational forces, dear to Newton, are involved in producing these wave phenomena.
    Around full moons and black moons high tides occur: the sea withdraws and gives the pickers access to the resource.

    Certain seaweed, such as Kombu Royal, are only accessible when the coefficients are higher than 100! However, a coefficient of 80 is sufficient for most others, especially if the atmospheric pressure drives the sea to depart … even further away!

  • Harvest The gardeners of the sea

    The wild seaweed is harvested by pickers during high tides. Because they select mature seaweed, the harvesters “cultivate” the sea and ensure an optimal renewal of the resource.

    A regulated trade
    A picker must possess a license for harvesting seaweed from the shores. It is issued by the Regional Fisheries Committee of Brittany, according to the fishing area and seaweed group. Depending on the resource, the number of licenses assigned may be limited.

    Seaweed farming, the future of the sector
    Wild seaweed resources are not always plentiful, which is the case for Nori and Sea Lettuce. The seaweed culture is necessary to support the development of consumption.

    Seaweed grows naturally
    • Regarding concessions in the sea, we established lines on which seaweed seedlings, such as Wakame and Kombu Royal, are brought from the hatchery.
    • In land-based tanks supplied with seawater where Sea Lettuce, Dulse or just recently Nori seedlings come from the hatchery to grow there.

    To contribute to the stability of this emerging sector, Bord à bord continues to incorporate cultivated seaweed into its recipes.

  • Algaculture Seaweed farmers

    Bord à bord and seaweed farming
    Wild seaweed is part of our history, but working with this natural resource is a daily challenge for our team! Actually sometimes the picking can be hindered by climatic hazards such as heavy swell during winter storms, warming of the water or lack of light...
    In this context seaweed farming is a hope for the future. This is why for 15 years, Bord à bord has supported projects in this activity.

    How to grow seaweed?
    There are different ways to grow an alga, depending on the family, the variety, the place ….
    There are two main growing methods: sea farming on floating line, and land farming in seawater ponds.

    Brittany and Portugal
    We pick wild seaweed in Brittany. But seaweed farming is essential to limit the pressure on this resource.
    Bord à bord has always been open about the origins of seaweed. The origin is specified on the packaging, for example on the classic seaweed tartare “Origin Brittany and Portugal”. Let’s stop on the second one: the Portuguese seaweed that we use into our recipes is sea lettuce, grown by the company Algaplus. This company is located in the Aveiro lagoon and grows seaweed in ponds supplied with seawater of high environmental quality, suitable for the growing of organic seaweed.

    Seaweed farming in Brittany
    We are already working in Brittany with seaweed farmers who cultivate seaweed in open sea, such as royal kombu or wakame.
    For the other species cultivated on land, dulse, sea lettuce and nori, we have to find lands with an access to high quality sea water, to develop new projects.

  • When the sea rises The job has only just begun!

    After the harvest, the hardest part remains…recovering the seaweed!
    Some pickers choose to enter rather than harvest by boat. It is also an easy way to bring in the harvest. Others gather by the shore with a wheelbarrow.

    The transition from picker to washer
    The reception of seaweed is a moment of exchange between the pickers and our team. Quality control and weighing sound the beginning of our work!

    The happiness of seaweed!
    Imagine three large jacuzzis with sea water churning the seaweed. To a large extent, our expertise involves this “100% seawater” process. This method has been developed to respect the texture and flavours of seaweed. They are then cared for once before being put into salt or dried.

    Storage made simple
    The combination of salting and cool storage allows the seaweed to be refined and kept for several months. With the harvesting of seaweed being seasonal, this ancestral method allows the “gap” to be bridged between the seasons.
    Drying is another option for storage, which can always be done at low temperature with the goal of maintaining the flavours and colours of the seaweed. This method is especially intended for “raw” products in the form of flakes. It is a good way to introduce seaweed into the kitchen.

    Fresh seaweed for our tartares
    Every week, salted seaweed is dipped in seawater to be desalinated for the manufacture of our tartares. Thus, they rediscover their original slightly salty taste and produce all their flavours in our recipes.

Vous souhaitez recevoir nos actualités ? Il suffit de vous inscrire à notre édition mensuelle de la gazette des algues :