Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Nutritious Sea Grapes “Lato”(Caulerpa lentillifera)

Have you known or tasted  Sea Grapes, a seaweed locally known as “lato” in Bicol? Did you know that  “lato”  is highly nourishing for it contains high amount of minerals, balanced amino acid profile and rich in iodine. Being a good source of Magnesium, this seaweed helps reduce high blood pressure and prevents heart attack. It is also useful for people suffering from thyroid problems. It can be eaten raw as an appetizer, dipped in lemon juice or vinegar mixed with onion and/or other spices.  It can be used in salads, be eaten as snacks, can be used in Sushi and as an ingredient in Salmon Rolls, and many more.

Newly harvest "Lato"
“Lato”, scientifically known as Caulerpa lentillifera is one of the favored species of edible Caulerpa due to its soft and succulent texture. They are also known as sea grapes, green caviar and "ar-arosep". This pretty green seaweed is made up of tiny oblong balls.

Did you know that the sea grapes are abundant in Panlatuan Cove of Pilar, Sorsogon, Philippines?  This seaweed grows naturally and abundantly in  an area of about ten hectares , as estimated by the Municipal Agriculture Office Technician. The term “Panlatuan” is a local dialect meaning, a place where “lato” came from.  The cove covers the villages of Lungib, San Rafael and Inapugan. It has a pure seawater, which is considered as high saline, with 28-31 ppt as tested by a refractometer.  Local folks observed that said seaweed is more abundant from October to May than during rainy season when the level of salinity decreases. The “lato” from this area,  can now be found at the wet markets of the provinces of  Albay, Sorsogon, and even in some parts of Metro Manila. 



  1. thanks for such insightful info. Adelfa

  2. You are welcome. I'm glad to share said information.

  3. I found them in a Filipino store here in California for 5 dollars for a handful size in a bag. I MISS ARUSIP