Isle of Mull Seaweed

THE ultimate in nutrition, taste, and sustainability, harvested from pristine Hebridean waters. It’s delicious Isle of Mull Spicy Seaweed Chutney and Sweet Seaweed Chutney, made with love on the island by Tara and Angus MacPhail.

Seaweed is a trendy superfood, but the truth is that cooks have been taking advantage of this ingredient for thousands of years. Certain varieties of seaweed contain the highest nutritional content of any food on earth, and are a natural source of vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D and E and the minerals zinc, iodine, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper and calcium. According to the Journal of Applied Phycology and Marine Drugs, seaweed consumption is linked with reduced cholesterol and blood clotting, as well as contributing to healthy blood pressure.

It’s not just the health benefits of seaweed that connoisseurs love. It’s that extra tasty dimension that it brings to food, what scientists call umami, which adds deep savouriness to a dish, while reducing the need for salt. Attracted to its many health benefits – and the fact it grows prolifically just steps outside her door – Tara wanted to try to include this superfood in her diet.

‘I had some leftover seaweed from our dinner one night. I thought I might see if it worked in my homemade chutney recipe, and it did,’ she said. ‘I spent quite a while perfecting the recipe, and our friends and family loved it so much, they urged us to develop it as a product for sale to the public.’

In May 2019, Isle of Mull Seaweed was born, producing delectable and sustainable condiments from the family’s base in Tobermory. It’s a busy family affair for the MacPhails, who have two small children and their trusty pup, Dickson. Tara explains the process.

‘Angus, with the able help of Dickson, harvests the seaweed by hand at low tide across Mull’s 300 miles of pristine coastline. He carefully collects only a portion of each plant, so as not to deplete the stocks. We use mainly the species ‘Laminaria Digitata’, also know as tangle kelp.’

Tara takes the carefully cleaned kelp, adds quality ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, vinegar, sugar and spices, and that’s when the magic starts. Response to these unique condiments has been fantastic, and Isle of Mull chutneys can now be found in fine shops and restaurants across the UK.

The MacPhail family and their flavoursome chutneys are convincing foodies that seaweed is a food source that can be eaten every day.  Whether your taste is for spicy or sweet (or, like us, a bit of both!) Isle of Mull chutneys compliment almost any dish. Try them as an alternative to tomato sauce on pizza, as a marinade for fish and meat, as a topping for burgers and omelettes and as an exciting accompaniment to your cheese and biscuit platters. Let us share your festive season, from pride of place at your holiday table to the perfect Christmas gift for the foodies on your list.

You can find Tara and Angus at the Country Living Fair in November and shop on our website at Be sure to join us on Facebook and Instagram at @Isleofmullseaweed and share photos of your chutney creations with us!

Plus, read more of the stories behind the goodies inside the Scottish Field Christmas hamper.