Eating jellyfish may not sound like the tastiest idea in the world to some at first. But what about if it was in the form of a crispy chip that kind of tasted like whisky?
Gastrophysicist Mie Thorborg Pedersen has found a way to convert common jellyfish into edible chips, and they could prove to be a novel new source of food for the world as well. Pedersen’s research led her to treat jellyfish as a gel rather than as an alternative fish. She theorized that while traditional methods of preparing jellyfish involved salting it into a semi-crunchy, noodle-like dish, she could cause the same evaporation through other methods, such as alcohol.
The method Pedersen developed as a result to make these chips out of whole jelly fish is what she describes as “embarrassingly simple.” All you have to do is stick a jellyfish in a container of 96% alcohol for a few days in the fridge, place it onto a baking sheet at room temperature, and let the alcohol evaporate to form a crispy snack made entirely out of a single jelly.
Nutritionally, these jellyfish chips could provide the world with a new kind of protein-packed snack. They’re predominantly protein and also good sources of vitamin B12 and copper when prepared traditionally, although the new chips haven’t been evaluated to compare nutritional content just yet. Pedersen also wants to see if the same process can be performed with less concentrated alcohol, meaning that she could potentially create jellyfish chips flavored with whisky, gin, and other strong spirits.
If those all prove to be successful, these boozy-flavored jellyfish chips will likely be available on fine dining plates before major companies begin to look at converting them into bulk products or major food solutions. As a food source, jellyfish would also be quite sustainable. They tend to “bloom” (or explode in population size) in seasonal patterns and are typically abundant, giving the world a food source that can easily be produced and taste good at the same time.
We’ll have to keep an eye on Pedersen’s research to see where it goes, but man, would I love to try some of those jellyfish chips and experience it for myself.