What are Sea Grapes or Lato?

What are Sea Grapes or Lato?

Lato, Sea Grapes, Latok, and Green Caviar are some of the names given to Caulerpa lentillifera. It is a type of edible seaweed common to the Philippines and nearby countries. This seaweed variety is the main ingredient for a popular Filipino salad called “Ensaladang Lato” which translates to Seaweed Salad.

Lato Seaweed

Health Benefits of Sea Grapes or Lato

Caulerpa lentillifera is good for persons who suffer from diabetes. Study shows that it is a potential anti-diabetic agent because it is able to enhance insulin secretion. According to slism, it is high in iodine, magnesium, and vitamin K. It was also categorized as a diet friendly food. This means that having seaweed salad regularly is good for your body. You can probably make different salad versions so that every meal will be something to look forward to.

sea grapes or caulerpa lentillifera

I was fortunate enough to stumble upon an article that details how lato or seaweeds are harvested, cleaned, and sold. It specifically talks about how the Tagbanua tribe in Coron, Palawan who makes a living out if these yummy sea grapes. I thought that it was very interesting and I was able to learn new information. For example, I learned that these are harvested manually in Palawan. The members of the tribe dives in murky water 5 meters deep  and pulls caulerpa lentillifera with their bare hands. You can read it here.

Aside from making ensaladang lato, do you know other dishes that can be made with this ingredient? If you have a your own seaweed salad recipe, you can share it with us by typing the details in the comments section.

 

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