Extension Brings Seaweed Into Maine Kitchens

Three experts will discuss sourcing, selecting and preparing seafood and seaweed Saturday, Feb. 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Cumberland County office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.

Barton Seaver, Hillary Krapf and Sarah Redmond will share their knowledge about Maine seafood and edible seaweed during the February edition of the yearlong “From Scratch: Your Maine Kitchen” series.

Seaver, a National Geographic Fellow, chef and author, seeks to restore people’s relationship with the ocean, land and with each other — through dinner. In his book, “For Cod & Country,” he showcases seasonal seafood, vibrant spices and farm-fresh produce with recipes for family-friendly meals. In 2009, “Esquire” magazine named Seaver Chef of the Year and in 2008, “Bon Appetit” named his restaurant Hook one of the top 10 eco-friendly restaurants in America. Seaver, who accepted a Fellowship with the Explorer Program at the National Geographic Society, believes sustainability is an ecological and a humanitarian issue. He directs the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard’s School of Public Health.

Krapf founded the 2014 Maine Seaweed Festival, which highlighted diverse uses and benefits of seaweed as well as the seaweed industry in the state. She says while seaweed is low in calories, eating seaweed and sea vegetables shouldn’t be viewed as a fad diet trend. Krapf will showcase how to incorporate seaweed in soups and salads and demonstrate that it can be a comfort food. Seaweed, she says, is an ideal source of iodine, which is key for healthy thyroid function and overall health. Vitamin K, calcium, iron and essential trace minerals not easily found in other foods also are in seaweed and sea vegetables.

Redmond, a marine associate with the Maine Sea Grant College Program at the University of Maine, says sea vegetables, which are both vegetables and seafood, bridge the gap between land and ocean. Maine is a major producer of wild foraged and cultivated sea vegetables. Maine seafood — including cod, clams, herring, lobster, mackerel, mussels and oysters — is a half-billion dollar industry that supports fishing families, working waterfronts, local economies and the state’s heritage. Redmond will discuss when each seafood is in season, where it is fished and what to look for when choosing, buying and preparing it.

Cost is $40; proceeds benefit the UMaine Extension Nutrition Program in Cumberland County. For more details, or to request a disability accommodation, contact 207.781.6099, 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine), extension.rlreception@maine.edu.

Additional installments in the “From Scratch: Your Maine Kitchen” series are slated to include “Weird Maine Fermentables” in March, as well as “Maine Cheese Pairings,” “Foraging Maine Greens” and “Drinking the Maine Harvest.” Some topics may change.

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777