Oh My Dulse! Eating Locally in Grand Manan New Brunswick

Grand Manan is actually a pretty prosperous place despite its isolation, general rusticness and the collapse of the herring industry in the 1990’s.  The smoking sheds of Seal Cove are in disrepair and the sardine packing plants converted into bed & breakfasts and lobster trap storage and are now a UNESCO world heritage site.  These days lobster and shellfish, aquaculture or fish farming, and delicious nutritious dulse are it’s major exports to mainland.


Although it is an acquired taste, it’s a certainly taste worth acquiring. Rebecca has eaten at least a quarter pound of the stuff since we got here and I can’t be too far behind.  Our hosts at our little Creekside cottage left a bag for us in a great gift basket and she ate it in about 30 minutes and would not willingly share. So we quickly went out and bought a pound of the stuff straight from the source. If you’re ever in Grand Manan looking for dulse, just look for the hand lettered signs and you’ll know where to go.


Here in Grand Manan we always buy it from Roland’s Sea Vegetables as we love their road side stand and to see the drying in full force.  Check out their site for some fabulous dulse facts such as “A man should never eat more dulse than his wife”.  
At home we are able to find it in smaller quantities at the grocery store from Atlantic Mariculture who we just discovered we have family ties to and were happy to talk dulse this evening.


Dulse is a sea vegetable (sea weed if you like) that grows in the intertidal zones. It is hand harvested at low tide every two weeks to ensure it’s not overharvested. The dramatic tides of the Bay of Fundy make Dulse collection ideal and this little island produces most of the world’s supply. It’s the lovely red flat seaweed that look like fingers waving in the tides.


After it’s hand harvested from the frigid waters on the Bay of Fundy, it is carried into Dark Harbour (pictured above) in small boats and then dried on large nets on stone in the sun. It’s really lovely to see the nets of dulse being tended to and there seems to be a real art to it.


After it dries, it is shaken in this contraption to get the sand and shells out and then packaged up. 


It comes soft (chewy) or crispy (delicious).  We eat it like chips and I add it to fish chowder. Its saltiness leads to its use on fish and on salads too, especially caesar. This trip I have just started experimenting with toasting it, my great aunts use to do it on top of the wood stove, I just use a frying pan. 


Rebecca is part dulse as it was a major pregnancy craving of mine.  I think this is because of the high mineral content as it contains calcium potassium, magnesium, iron, iodine, manganese, copper, chromium, zinc, as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C and E. Apparently it also is high in protein which explains quite a bit as I seem to be protein starved.

Even though we bought a pound a few days ago, I think we’ll make one final stop for another pound or two before we leave.  Anybody in Toronto need some dulse?

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14 Responses to “Oh My Dulse! Eating Locally in Grand Manan New Brunswick”

  1. shana says:

    I would like some dulse – I haven't eaten it in 20 years!

  2. Laura says:

    I have some for you!

  3. Laura says:

    Bought 3 more pounds :)

  4. beauty obscure says:

    Thanks for this post! I had never really heard of dulse before reading this yesterday. Found a bag from atlantic mariculture while browsing the health food store today (I live in Guelph). So delicious!

  5. Sarah says:

    I have never tried dulse before, but now I'm convinced to give it a shot!

  6. Calicarpa says:

    I have never heard of dulse being referred to as delicious before. But after looking at the beautiful photos and descriptions, I might just have some tonight for dinner. Thanks.

  7. Carol Hammond says:

    My Dad fed me dulse as a little girl growing up in Maine, and I never outgrew my love of it. However, it is really hard to get where i live. If I can find it, it is over $7.00 for a 2 ounce bag.
    But, its worth it, just wish I could find it cheaper so I could enjoy it on a regular basis.

  8. Kirsti says:

    When we were growing up my grandmother used to send a box of dulse to us in Alberta at least once a year. We loved it! Now, as you say, all we find are very expensive little 1.4 oz cellophane packages. I am now in BC and the edible seaweed here doesn’t compare.

    Oh for a box of fresh dulse from NB!

  9. Doug says:

    Love your photos. My 68 year old brother and I took a motorcycle ride to Newfoundland this Summer and one of my goals was to find some dulse. We looked and looked and about gave up until we found a farmers market in down town Saint John Nova Scotia. I bought all I could carry and had a DLT sandwich while I was there. A Dulse Lettuce and Tomato sandwhich is something you need to try if you have never had one. Cut the dulse up with scissors into small chunks first though or you’ll be pulling long strands of dulse out of your sandwich with every bite. Now If I can only find an on line supplier with a decent price. I can’t afford a motorcycle trip to Canada every time I need some dulse. For those of you who want to try dulse. Don’t be too judgmental at first. I didn’t care for my first bite. It tasted like every other seaweed I had tried, sort of fishy. Now I eat it by the handfuls and it tastes more like beef jerky to me. I have heard it called “The beef jerky of the sea.” I still don’t like other dried seaweeds.

  10. ken says:

    Hi,
    Im in Wells Maine at the moment 2July 2013, Been to Hannafords to asked if they had any Dulse. The man behind the Fish counter said he had never heard of it before. He is in the wrong line of work selling sea food and should be harvesting this product for sale.
    Then I tried IGA in Wells. An they never heard of the sea vegtable, but a customer did and wanted some.

    I have been eating dulse for over 60 years ,before I new what chips were, and if I could purchase this vegtable I would.

    Ken

  11. Yolanda Kozma says:

    I just bought Dulse from a health food store named Goodness Me. I live in Ontario and I am glad that it is available here. Love it.

  12. ford brenton says:

    I tried your dulse a few years back when I worked at connor brothers and I found it good but my wife didn’t like it.I found it once more here in newfoundland at a fishery and oceans office

  13. Laurie Ann Storring says:

    How much can be eaten on a daily basis? I received a gift of your dulse from a friend who visits there regularly and wondered about using it as a daily intake of minerals. Thank you….lve it

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