Umaro Foods, a company built on the vision that the ocean will be our future source of protein, has launched a highly realistic plant-based bacon at restaurants across the United States.
In partnership with San Francisco’s Michelin-starred Sorrel Restaurant, New York City’s Egg Shop, and Nashville’s D’Andrews Bakery and Cafe, Umaro is bringing its bacon to consumers for the first time.
“Umaro uses cutting-edge science to support a more sustainable future,” said Sorrel’s Executive Chef Alex Hong. “We are using their products at our restaurant to add flavor, texture, and umami to our dishes.”
The launch comes on the heels of a record-setting bidding war for investment in the company and its product that was recently aired on ABC’s Shark Tank.
The bacon, formulated with Umaro’s proprietary seaweed protein, invites an imaginative approach for menu items that emphasize the versatility of Umaro’s meatless bacon. Bacon is considered to be the holy grail of plant-based meat, with many attempts – but few successful – at replicating the sensory qualities of pork bacon. “We’ve nailed crispy bacon,” said Beth Zotter, Umaro’s CEO. “We’ve found a way to use seaweed in a totally new way to improve not just the meat, but also the unmistakable taste and texture of bacon fat.”
As of June 15th, Umaro Foods is available at the Michelin-starred Sorrel Restaurant in a dual capacity. It has been incorporated into Sorrel’s renowned tasting menu as an addition to a bite-sized, seasonal little gem lettuce bite with white peach, jalapeno, cucumber and UMARO bacon. In a second offering, UMARO™, the company’s purified protein extract, sourced from nori, is incorporated into Sorrel’s Parker House rolls, served with an accompanying wild onion cream caviar course, to add flavor complexity.
Egg Shop, the beloved NYC café, is offering Umaro bacon on its “Egg Shop Bacon Egg and Cheese” as a special item at both of their locations in Nolita and Williamsburg. It is also offering Umaro bacon as a side or as a plant-based substitute in any dish that currently includes bacon. Bridging the gap between breakfast and dinner, D’Andrews Bakery is offering the Umaro bacon in their classic BLT, just in time for summer tomato season.
Zotter looks to the ocean as the innovative way to farm protein and as the future source of most of our protein. “Seaweed offers the most sustainable, lowest-impact way to source protein, and the ocean is our biggest protein bioreactor. It requires no land, no freshwater, and no synthetic fertilizers. In the future, seaweed will supply the majority of our protein needs,” she says.
“People often ask us what makes Umaro stand out from other plant-based bacon alternatives. While our technology is certainly unique, the taste, and fatty texture that consumers will soon have the chance to experience for themselves really puts Umaro bacon in a field of its own.”
The company’s bacon benefits from two proprietary innovations. The first is the company’s own patented protein, UMARO™, which it extracts from ocean-farmed red seaweeds and that serves as a natural and functional replacement for heme, the red protein molecule that makes plant-based meat “bleed” and imparts a meaty flavor. The second is the use of seaweed-based ingredients to encapsulate plant-based oils into a fat that crisps and crunches just like animal fat.
Later this year, Umaro Foods will be available in additional restaurants throughout the U.S. including the Bay Area, Los Angeles and beyond.
About Umaro Foods, Inc.
Umaro is a food technology company focused on making ocean farmed seaweeds the future source of abundant and high-quality protein. The company is introducing its protein to consumers as a premium ingredient in their first product, UMARO™ Bacon. The company’s origins began in the design of offshore seaweed farming systems, and are now focused on delivering branded consumer food products featuring its proprietary UMARO™ red seaweed protein. Umaro’s mission is to develop a food system that supports a wild and thriving planet with what is considered one of the most sustainable sources of protein on the planet—ocean farmed seaweed. Founded by CEO Beth Zotter and CTO Amanda Stiles, the company is based in Berkeley, California. Visit Umaro Foods and follow @UmaroFoods on Instagram.