Malayan-Indian Tradition: Seaweed Flour

Conversations coming from experiences in Belize, Central America are quite rare to have with someone whom you just met for a brief moment. His tales of hidden paradise and unforgotten cultures, caught my attention as I was holding on to a seaweed freshly caught from the shore – locally known as “guso.” I enjoyed talking to a man who might have been to most parts of the world and my eyes we’re like puppy dogs’ that were so eager to know more. 🙄

seaweeds

A kid helping me harvest some “guso” from the bay area.

He told me that he had lived in Belize for several years – a country located on the north eastern coast of Central America (the only country in the area where English is the official language), bordered to the north by Mexico, south and west by Guatemala, and to the east by the Caribbean Sea. I had a good picture of it in my mind. Haha!

green seaweeds

The seaweeds up close – super macro shot!

It was in their tradition that local seaweeds were actually used in a variety of dishes. As far as I know, here in the Philippines, I have only heard of the more popular “pickled seaweeds” and probably other gourmet touches and different garnishing. But that’s that. To them, it was a Malayan-Indian influence that made them use seaweeds as flour, or as a replacement to flour. The method was simple – “drying.”

dried seaweeds

The process of drying the seaweeds in direct sunlight.

What are the nutrients that we could get from these living organisms anyway? For starters, A LOT! Ranging from iodine, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, protein, and of course, fiber! Imagine eating bread using seaweed flour! 😀 I guess green bread would be fantastic! 8)

Coastal areas have a lot of potential in terms of selling these “guso” and could be creative enough in making different uses. I don’t see any reason why we should just stop at “pickled seaweeds.” Possibilities are indeed endless. I’m so glad I had learned a thing or two about these edible things! 😀

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  1. Wow! Meron pala nun, seaweed flour… but I really love eating “guso”. magaling ka din pala sa mga local history huh, hehe.. nice one! 🙂

  2. haha thanks! I’m trying to learn the history 😉 Was never good at it in elementary nor high school.

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