Trending Now: Gathering Moss

irish moss

Photograph by Travis Rathbone; food styling by Chris Lanier; prop styling by Natasha Louise King

Sought-after oysters aside, the Island Creek team is harvesting something else that’s gaining favor with chefs: Chondrus crispus, or Irish Moss, a seaweed naturally high in carrageenan (a stabilizer used to emulsify foods like ice cream and tapioca). Chondrus crispus was once harvested so heartily from the South Shore that it supported an entire industry in the early 20th century. Nowadays, the sea plant (pictured) has found new life at inventive restaurants locally and nationwide, where it’s used to emulsify sauces and purées, and garnish plates with its striking multicolored appearance.

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