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Kombu, also known as kelp, is a sea vegetable of the 'Laminaria' family of which there are more than ten species. EDEN Kombu Laminaria japonica is a dark greenish brown edible seaweed with thick, wide leafy fronds that grow in the waters off the southeastern coast of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. This type of kombu, known as 'Ma-konbu', is highly prized. not only for its abundance of essential minerals, vitamins, and trace elements but also for its natural glutamic salts that make It makes an excellent flavoring agent. Kombu contains the amino acid glutamine, a naturally sweet, superior flavor enhancer. The fronds are hand harvested using long poles with knives attached to cut the kombu free from the ocean bottom. As the kombu floats to the surface it is gathered into boats and taken ashore. The fronds are washed, folded and naturally sun dried on the white sand beaches before cutting and packaging.
EDEN Kombu Sea Vegetable is most frequently used to make the delicious Japanese noodle broth, dashi, seasoned with shoyu soy sauce. It can be used, however, to make a variety of soup stocks. Simply place a strip in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Remove the kombu after 4 to 5 minutes and discard or chop and use in other dishes. Vegetables, herbs, spices or fish can be added to the stock after removing the kombu. Kombu can also be soaked, chopped and simmered with carrots, onions, squash, daikon or other sweet vegetables. A small piece of kombu added to dried beans, helps to tenderize them as they cook.
Eden is the oldest natural and organic food company in North America and the largest independent manufacturer of dry grocery organic foods. They are deeply rooted in Michigan about twenty miles southwest of Ann Arbor. It is there where they manage grower relations, manufacturing, trucking, quality control, customer and retailer services, marketing, import/export, accounting, databases and websites.
Eden Foods began in Ann Arbor in the late 1960s with friends sourcing natural food. Natural foods were simply not available at the time, so they started the Eden food co-op to bring them in. Their initial $200 orders to Erewhon in Boston and Chico-san in California were well received and caused a local stir. This lead to co-op members traveling rural roads, knocking on doors looking for farmers to grow food using organic methods. The Eden co-op grew into a natural food store offering whole grains, beans, soyfoods, sea vegetables, miso, cereals, vegetable oils, seed and nut butters, and the like. It expanded adding a cafeteria, bakery, and books, and became known as the Eden Deli. It was one of very few places in the U.S.A. where you could get natural, organic, macrobiotic food. Folks came from near and far. Health food stores called asking to get the foods we were carrying. An Eden brand began to take shape.
Over 95% of Eden foods are sold in natural food stores, co-ops, and supermarkets via traditional natural and grocery distribution channels. Website, employee, and wholesale sales make up the remainder. Eden buys all food from, and pays farms directly getting more cash to them. Most is grown a few miles to a few hundred miles from home base. In the Midwest they source wild rice, beans, spelt, soybeans, cabbage, apples, tart cherries, strawberries, pastry wheat, and tomatoes. Other North American family farm organic food includes grains from the Midwest and Western high plains; almonds, pistachios, and brown rice from California; flax and mustard seed from Saskatchewan; dulse is from New Brunswick... the list goes on.