Mmm, is there anything better than some piping hot waffles and/or pancakes, with some sunny side up eggs and some crispy bacon sizzling on the side of your plate? Now, swap out that bacon with fried seaweed. Still hungry?

Yes, there’s a seaweed that tastes like bacon when fried. Researchers at the Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center have teamed up with the school’s Food Innovation Center to create new uses for a type of seaweed called dulse, and their most savory finding is that frying up the red sea veggie yields a crunch and taste not unlike our good friend bacon. As one researcher put it: “Pan-fried, dulse can be light and crispy with a savory saltiness, like bacon.”

OK, but why would anyone eat fried seaweed instead of the real, pork fat-marbled real deal? Let’s ask the scientists again: “Dulse is a super food, with twice the nutritional value of kale. And OSU has developed a variety that can be farmed, with the potential for a new industry on the Oregon coast.”

While researchers and cooks can be seen preparing “bacon” dulse in this video, we must admit that the entire conceit of equating seaweed with bacon is a little bit strange. After all, seaweed is an essential part of any sea-based diet around the world (sushi, seaweed salads, laver); dulse in particular, as the researchers themselves point out, is a core part of Irish, Icelandic, and Scandinavian coastal food for centuries.

That said, seaweed’s still pretty out there for many peoples’ palates, so if channeling bacon is how they get people to eat this uber-veggie, then hey, whatever works. And if dulse bacon starts appearing in our local grocery stores, we’ll definitely give it a try.

(Images via here and here.)