The rice of the sea: how a tiny grain could change the way humanity eats

Ángel León made his name serving innovative seafood. But then he discovered something in the seagrass that could transform our understanding of the sea itself – as a vast garden

Growing up in southern Spain, Ángel León paid little attention to the meadows of seagrass that fringed the turquoise waters near his home, their slender blades grazing him as he swam in the Bay of Cádiz.

It was only decades later – as he was fast becoming known as one of the country’s most innovative chefs – that he noticed something he had missed in previous encounters with Zostera marina: a clutch of tiny green grains clinging to the base of the eelgrass.

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