Are Kelp and Seaweed the Same Thing?

One of the most common questions we get is something along the lines of, “what’s the difference between kelp and seaweed? Aren’t they the same thing?”  This is a totally understandable question—these words are often used interchangeably, and we’re even guilty of doing it ourselves! Technically, however, there is a difference.

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Ocean SourceSeaweed Facts
Ten Things You May Not Know About Kelp

8. Kelp is found in thousands of products that you probably use every day, from ice cream, to toothpaste, to salad dressings.  Typically, these products will use alginate, a carbohydrate that is derived from kelp—as a thickener. It serves to provide a creamy texture, but can also be used as a binding agent.

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Ten Things You May Not Know About Seaweed

6. Seaweed used to be a food only for nobility. In Japan, only nobility consumed seaweed during the Asuka and Nara periods (about 600AD-800AD). During this time, the Daihoritsuryo (Japan’s first known written legal code) enumerated 30 different types of sea vegetables that vassals must pay to their lords as tax. The preferred seaweed for tax was Laver, which we here at Ocean Source still gather and use in our products today.

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Tasting Day Part 2: The Beer

People put all kinds of things into beer. There's pizza beer, smoked pig parts beer, collagen beer (!!!), and beer made with yeast from the brewmaster's beard. There are even a number of unusual beers made with ocean-sourced ingredients, like squid ink, and whale testicles—no joke. So we figured, why not seaweed?

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Tasting Day Part 1: The Food

We had a Seaweed Tasting Day last Saturday! It was a sort of seaweed potluck, where all six of us gathered at my apartment in Oakland, with each person bringing some home-made seaweed delicacies to share. It was a great way to continue exploring the deliciousness, nutritiousness, and umami-ful-ness of seaweed!

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Ocean SourceCooking, Eat Kelp
Seaweed Experiments: Laverbread

On Tuesday, my search for a delicious and interesting seaweed recipe took me to Wales. It turns out that there is a traditional Welsh delicacy called laverbread. In fact, it is so beloved that it’s been dubbed “Welshman’s Caviar”. It also turns out that laverbread isn’t bread at all, but rather a thick paste made from laver seaweed.

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We’re a new seaweed company based out of San Francisco, CA.  Our goal is to bring seaweed—a wildly unappreciated and delicious superfood—to everyone along the California coast.

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Ocean Source