|This is what spirulina, aka cyanobacteria aka blue-green algae looks like.|
Last Saturday night, I met up with Pierre-Andre at Le Bloc for a drink and a chat.
I'd never met Pierre-Andre before, but he'd sent a message via this very blog saying he's a spirulina farmer in the south of France, and if I was interested, we could meet up when he was coming through Paris the following week and I could give the greeny-blue stuff a try.
This was a first for me--both the spirulina bit as well as meeting a complete stranger for a drink. I had no trepidation whatsoever, and it turned out my instincts were sound. Pierre-Andre was a lovely person, funny and interesting, as well as frank and forthcoming about spirulina's potential benefits. ("It's not a miracle product!")
We spoke for nearly two hours--in French (another first!)--about life in the south and how it compares to Paris (sunnier!), vegetarianism and veganism, and then, of spirulina and how exactly it might benefit someone like me. I learned that it's particularly dense in some vitamins and minerals--vitamin K, magnesium--and that it really isn't a solid source of vitamin B (though it does have a component that mimics the effects of B12 in the body).
|Pierre-Andre was kind enough to give me a good-size bag full of the stuff.|
|A slightly more intimate glimpse of the spirulina.|
We spoke some more about how the cyanobacteria is cultivated (in pools of lightly salinated freshwater), and then, how you go about ingesting it. Digging into one of his sacks, he pulled out a little brown bag and tipped a teaspoon or so into my hand. It was a puddle of dry, thin rivulets, like angel-hair pasta, broken up into minuscule bits. I took a pinch and popped it in my mouth, and was surprised that it tasted like mushrooms.
Apparently I was the first person to suggest the similarity in taste.
|Whiskey in a jar? No, but the taste is equally potent, without the deleterious effects (nor the feel-good variety).|
I figure there's about a month's-worth of spirulina in the bag, and I'm seeing it through to the end. If I sprout horns or develop a sudden affinity for trigonometry, I'll report back here.