Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus) also sometimes called "Sea Moss" is a “red” sea vegetable that grows in the intertidal zone on both sides of the North Atlantic. (Read more about Irish Moss vs. Sea Moss in this blog post). It is short and bushy, and often found in thick carpets on rocky shores. Our whole leaf Irish Moss as well as powder and coarse flakes are harvested in the North Atlantic. Irish Moss can express itself in a variety of colors despite its classification as a red seaweed.
Irish Moss was once the primary source of Carrageenan (also called carrageen). Carrageenan is a vegetarian alternative to gelatin; and it’s widely used as a colloidal thickening agent in many foods and cosmetics. Irish Moss powder can be used in the home kitchen to thicken puddings, custards or soups. The rise of craft brewing has also brought back the historic use of Irish Moss as a beer clarifier, as it naturally accelerates protein coagulation; essentially eliminating the need for post-boil filtration.
Irish Moss and carrageenan have a long history of medicinal use for respiratory and digestive ailments. Like other seaweed-derived gels, carrageenan is soothing and nourishing to the skin, making it a valued ingredient for homemade beauty and skin care products. Like most sea vegetables, Irish Moss is rich in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and bioactive compounds.
The Maine Coast Sea Vegetables Difference
Our Irish Moss is harvested from carefully selected beds of the North Atlantic to be in compliance with Organic standards, ensuring maximum quality and minimal contamination. We test for heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides, petroleum residues, radioactivity, and microbiological concerns. With over 40 years of experience & relationship building, we minimally process and package products in our Certified Organic facility in Hancock, Maine.