Forget about outer space; the ocean is the true final frontier, home to untold treasures, and not the sort that come from shipwrecks or pirates’ plunder. Umibudou, directly translated to the more poetic name of “sea grapes” are one such prize. These oceanic gems are a rare treat that can be found along the coasts of Japan and Southeast Asia. They’re making waves in the world of gastronomy.
What is the Gem of the Sea?
Imagine a cluster of tiny pearls arranged in translucent strings, like a mini-underwater vineyard. Sometimes Romanized as “umibudo” or “umi budo” from the Japanese 海ぶどう, these seaweed spheres, resembling miniature bunches of grapes, earn their name for obvious reasons. Scientifically called Caulerpa lentilliferaThese tasty morsels of algae aren’t fruits. Caulerpaceae.
Flavorful Splash: Umibudou’s Unique Taste
A handful of umibudou in your mouth will taste like the essence and flavor of the ocean. With a distinctive combination of salty and briny flavors, these sea grapes evoke the sensation of standing at the water’s edge, where the breeze carries a gentle spray of salt water. These sea grapes have hints of umami, and a subtle nutty flavor.