Ar-arusep: grapes of the sea
I must take after my father when it comes to appreciation of seafood. As a native of Dagupan, fish, clams, oysters, and all sorts of bounty from the sea find its way to his table. And he brought this all the way to Baguio where we grew up.
Ar-arusep (as it is called in Ilocano, Baguio’s local dialect), is a form of seaweed. It also tastes great. I could never recall a time that I did not like it. I like the ones that have small globules; there’s actually a variety that’s lighter in colour and have bigger “grapes” but they’re not as tasty.
And exactly how do they taste like? Like the sea. All you need to enjoy ar-arusep is thoroughly wash it. And if you want to be fancy, just mix in some chopped tomates and you have seaweed salad! Or, as my cousin Ate Ely mentioned in Facebook, just squeeze calamansi juice overit and you’re good to go. Plus with the iodine in seaweed, it helps prevent against goiter. Good for you!
When we went to La Union last December for a day at the beach, we bought some from the market. We chopped some tomatoes but we did not mix it with the ar-arusep in case the kids do not want tomatoes in them, and we also had salted (red) eggs on the side. It’s the perfect complement to grilled meat and fish.
Sharing the food we love with friends on a day at the beach (one of my favourite places to be in). Priceless.