Irish sea moss carpets many of the inter-tidal ledges along the coast, and was historically harvested with bronze rakes from small wooden boats, or plucked by hand from the rocks in shallow tide pools. It releases a powerful gelling agent when boiled, commonly known as “Carageenan.” It has historically been used to “set” puddings, custards, and ice creams, and also serves as an excellent thickening agent in savory soups and broths.In addition to the full complement of trace minerals found in all seaweeds, Irish moss contains unique anti-viral properties, and has been used internally to treat coughs and chest infections. The gel can also be used topically in skin-care applications.
Atlantic Holdfast is a small company working to sustainably hand-harvest the highest quality sea vegetables from the Gulf of Maine. Their harvesting operation is based on a remote island in outer Penboscot Bay, 7 miles off Stonington, ME, where the strong currents, active surf, and full exposure to the force of the open ocean have allowed these seaweeds to thrive for millenia.