Bacon is a trendy food, and people are forever trying to come up with things that taste just like it but aren't made from pork.

A few years ago, there was a lot of hubbub about shiitake mushrooms tasting like bacon when they were roasted with olive oil and salt. There's even a way to prepare salmon so it tastes like bacon. I've had dried coconut that was supposed to taste just like bacon bits. (It actually tasted just like coconut smothered in liquid smoke.) Other plant-based foods that can replace bacon are breadcrumbs, tempeh or seitan — all doctored up to taste like bacon.

Now, scientists have discovered a superfood that supposedly tastes just like bacon when fried — seaweed. Science Alert reports that this "miracle seaweed is a fast-growing strain of red marine algae called dulse (Palmaria sp.), which grows wild along the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines and looks a lot like translucent red lettuce."

Dulse wasn't just discovered, but scientists from Oregon State University have created a new strain of this seaweed. It can be farmed, and it has twice the nutrition of kale. It's 16 percent protein in dry weight and is full of antioxidants and vitamins. And, while all of that is good news, what has people really excited is it's ability to taste like bacon. This one fact may make it a moneymaker.

The university has patented this miracle seaweed. Experiments are underway to see how it can be used as an ingredient in recipes. And, the university is trying to figure out how they can increase production and determine if it can be a new crop for farmers in Oregon.

Related on MNN:

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

This seaweed tastes like bacon
When fried, a new strain of seaweed has a strong bacon flavor and a ton of nutrition.