Would you eat chips made out of jellyfish? These Danish researchers hope so, because they’ve revolutionized the process of turning the pesky beach creatures into tasty snacks.

While jellyfish chips aren’t technically a new culinary phenomenon, they were previously relegated to novel delicacy status. In order to create them, jellyfish needed to be marinated in salt for weeks. But the biochemists at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense have figured out a way to speed the process up so it only takes a couple of days to create the crunchy, brittle texture.

According to a press release, researcher Mathias P. Clausen says, “Tasting jellyfish myself, I wanted to understand the transformation from a soft gel to this crunchy thing you eat. Using ethanol, we have created jellyfish chips that have a crispy texture and could be of potential gastronomic interest.”

This technology has loads of implications, most notably it could help create a new commercially viable food source. In terms of seafood, jellyfish are a way more sustainable option, given the havoc climate change and over-fishing have reeked on the oceans. According to Clausen, “As this is pioneering work, I think using tools available to us to tackle the science of good eating can open peoples’ eyes for a completely new scientific field.” Who would have guessed that such a gimmicky snack could also have such a huge environmental significance?

But what do they actually taste like? Crunchy and salty like you’d expect. One taste tester claims, it was like eating the ocean.

While they probably won’t be hitting supermarket shelves anytime soon, it’s exciting to imagine the possibility of strolling down the snack aisle and seeing them next to Cheetos and pretzels. It’s a much better place for these tentacled creatures than up against your leg in the ocean.

Header image courtesy of Mie T. Pedersen.

Jessica is a former Associate Editor at Chowhound. Follow her on Twitter @volume_knob for updates on snacks and cats.
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