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Monterey Bay Spice Company

Bulk Herbs & Spices

Irish Moss
shopping: two varieties
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per 1/4 Pound
Quantity:  
$5.60 
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per Pound
Quantity:  
$14.00 
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per 1/4 Pound
Quantity:  
$6.80 
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per Pound
Quantity:  
$17.00 
Chondrus crispus

irish moss

plant overview
not moss, but seaweed

Irish moss is a species of red seaweed that flourishes along the rocky terrain of the European Atlantic coastline. Although it is named after the Isle of Green, it is also commonly found along the coasts of Britain, Spain, Iceland, Canada and Japan. The algae is also known as carrageen moss, taken from the Celtic carraigín, which translates to "little rock." Because Irish moss is so rich in a certain polysaccharide called carrageenan, it is widely used as a thickening agent, stabilizer and lubricant in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Irish moss
01.
Where in the World
habitat and range for irish moss

Chondrus crispus is common all around the shores of Ireland and Great Britain and can also be found along the coast of Europe including Iceland, the Faroe Islands western Baltic Sea to southern Spain. It is found on the Atlantic coasts of Canada and has also been recorded from California in the United States to Japan.

02.
A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on irish moss

description
Chondrus crispus is a relatively small red alga of the Gigartinaceae family, reaching up to a little over than 20 cm in length. It grows and branches four or five times in a dichotomous, fan-like manner. The morphology is highly variable, especially the broadness of the thalli. The branches are 2–15 mm broad, firm in texture and dark reddish brown in color bleaching to yellowish in sunlight. The gametophytes often show a blue iridescence and fertile sporophytes show a spotty pattern. Mastocarpus stellatus is a similar species which can be readily distinguished by its strongly channelled and often somewhat twisted thallus. The cystocarpic plants of Mastocarpus show reproductive papillae quite distinctively different from Chondrus. When washed and sun-dried for preservation, it has a yellowish, translucent, horn-like aspect and consistency.

common names & nomenclature
The common name carrageen moss is from the Irish carraigín, which means "little rock".

Also known as:
carrageen moss, chondrus, carrahan, irish moss, carragheen

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting irish moss

climate
Chondrus crispus is found growing on rock from the middle intertidal zone into the subtidal zone.

soil
Irish Moss grows on rocks in the ocean.

growing
Irish Moss reaches maturity in 3-5 years, it grows on the rocky bottom of the ocean floor, and the plant grows upwards. At times, storms may break the top of the plant off, but it can continue growing from its base.

harvesting
The moss fishing season runs from early summer to late autumn. A small fishing vessel hauling upwards of six drags of varying sizes moves slowly and continually around the shallow water where the moss grows. Any moss that may be loose or disengaged from the rocks is picked up by rakes. When the rakes are full, they are raised to the boat using a hauler and a series of pulleys and booms where it is emptied onto the floor of the boat.

preserving
Store dried Irish Moss (cut pieces or powder) in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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