The origins of agar-agar are more complicated than at first would appear. Indeed, it looks like a simple white powder with no smell or taste, yet in reality it is a mucilage obtained from several red algae from the Gelidium cartilagineum or Gracilaria species.
Agar-agar involves a long process:
- The algae are collected from the beaches of Pen Lan, a special protected site under Natura 2000
- They are then washed and dried several times.
- Then boiled.
- Once they have cooled down and been dried out, the mucilage forms in thin strips which are then ground down to a powder.
It is used widely in cooking now; widely replacing gelatin. It is a totally natural product, obtained solely from plant materials, with virtually no calorific value, whilst it is a far better gelling agent than gelatin. All this is what makes it so successful!
Half a teaspoon of agar-agar is enough to make a flan, a mousse or a terrine.
|Shelf life||5 years|
|Genus and botanical species||Gracilaria gelidium|