The Traditional Irish Pudding That's Made With Seaweed

If you've never had the chance to visit the Emerald Isle, it feels safe to suggest putting it on your bucket list. There, you will find fields greener than anything you can imagine, people known for their passionate love of live music and rugby, hundreds of local breweries, and some of the heartiest cuisines you'll ever taste. Seriously, if you were under the false assumption that traditional Irish food is bland and flavorless, you have another thing coming. 

Though dishes like beef stew, colcannon, and boxty may sound basic, Study Country describes Irish food as made simply but with high-quality ingredients. Most of Ireland's food is locally-sourced and grown, making it affordable and fresh (via Story Maps).

For those of us living off-island, wherever we are in the world, it is pretty easy to find common Irish foods like cabbages, potatoes, beef, bacon, cream, and butter. However, one of the harder Irish foods to find casually gracing the shelves of your local supermarket is carrageenan, aka seaweed.

Carrageenan moss pudding is a tradition pulled from the sea

Seaweed and pudding aren't usually two things people imagine together on the same plate — let alone in the same recipe. But it appears that the people of Ireland have open minds and palates. The best way to describe to you what carrageen moss pudding is, is by telling you how it's made. Atlas Obscura says that cooks take carrageen and revive the plant in water before boiling it in milk. This process removes the jelly from the seaweed and transfers it — and its purple color — to the cream. The strands of carrageen are then tossed out and egg yolk, sugar, and vanilla are added to the mixture to form a pudding. 

Carrageen moss is found on the south and west coasts of the country and has some surprising health benefits that Irish people have benefited from for decades (via Ballymaloe). The Irish Times discussed how carrageen moss pudding has been consumed for quite a long time in Irish households thanks to the seaweed's natural health benefits. It is often eaten to alleviate coughs, throat issues, and chest ailments because of its expectorant and antiviral properties — and it also acts as a good source of vitamins and minerals. 

It isn't your typical chocolate or vanilla pudding, but it's good for you and very much an age-old Irish recipe you've got to try at least once in your life.