I am not connected with Algamar in any way, shape or form, and have no financial interest in this product. Views expressed are mine, and mine alone. So now you know.
Beyond the zoodle
For many people searching for an alternative to a traditional wheat pasta, zoodles, those delectable spirals made out of zucchinis, have become the go-to solution.
There are, however, other options. Seaweeds, or as they are becoming better known nowadays, sea vegetables, can give you another string to your bow should you want or need it.
We first came across this particular product, produced by Algamar, a company from Galicia in North-western Spain on the Atlantic coast, after spotting it in a vegan health food store.
The product is made of dried Himanthalia elongata, a brown alga known variously as sea spaghetti, thongweed, or sea thong.
First thing to note – it doesn’t come cheap. A 100g packet runs out at about $12 US, but it has to be said that you are getting a top quality, certified organic product.
Secondly, that 100g refers to the weight of the dried vegetable. Once cooked, you have anywhere between 6 ( our results, we were quite hungry! ) and 10 ( as stated by the manufacturer ) servings.
We cooked the product as we would do a dried pasta, i.e. in a large amount of boiling, salted water, only for slightly longer – whereas tagliatelle of this size would cook for about 12 minutes, we cooked the sea spaghetti as per the manufacturer’s instructions, i.e. for 20 minutes. This gave a nice al-dente consistency.
One thing to be aware of – when it starts cooking the vegetable gives off a very powerful aroma of the sea, which even though pleasant, can be a bit overpowering in a small, open plan kitchen such as ours, so much so that we had to open our balcony door to ventilate the room.
That blast of coastal air was short lived, however, and soon faded the longer the product cooked.
Once they were cooked and drained we were curious to see just how the finished noodles ate. In terms of size and consistency, you really would be hard pressed in a blind taste test to tell the difference between these noodles and traditional pasta.
The taste is quite neutral, with just a subtle hint of the sea.
As you can see from the picture, the finished product is brown. Being colourblind, this bothers me not in the slightest, but I am reliably informed that it might put some folks off, and that my review should mention the fact.
We ate the noodles with our Chinese Chicken and Mushroom Casserole, and they performed just as well as you would expect any other traditional noodle to work with a sauce, or broth as it was in this case.
If you are looking for a wheat noodle alternative that is a little different to the zoodle and more akin to an old-school tagliatelle, then Algamar’s sea spaghetti could be just the ticket.
True, they aren’t as cheap, but remember that you’re getting at least 6 good servings of an organic, tasty product.
Our verdict – they receive a hearty thumbs up from Clan Paleovirtus!
Read more about the product at the manufacturer’s web site by clicking here.