The new gourmet delight – bottled sea water

Covering nearly three-quarters of the Earth's surface to a depth of up to seven miles, it is one of the most abundant natural substances and free to anyone who cares to scoop it up and take it away. Yet if one entrepreneur has his way, gourmet restaurants could soon start stocking their larders with sea water – and paying for the privilege.

Chefs eager to enhance the authentic taste of their bisques and bouillabaisses will soon have the opportunity to buy purified sea water from the Outer Hebrides. Launched at the Taste of Edinburgh festival yesterday, Acquamara claims to be the world's first designer sea water and will retail at £4.95 per three-litres.

It is the idea of Andy Inglis, a former United Nations official, who was inspired after helping his daughter research a project for her homework. He concedes that some people might be reluctant to part with a fiver for something they can get for nothing, but hopes the project will reap dividends for the local economy in the tiny Hebridean island of Berneray. There it is extracted from the sea and passed through a filter which removes any particles of sand, dirt and rust before being brought by tanker to Dunbar where it is tested to ensure it passes European standards for safe drinking water and then decanted into a wine-type box. "I think it's going to be seen as a bit cheeky, but if I can be a bit cheeky and create jobs in the Hebrides than I'm happy being a bit cheeky," Mr Inglis said.

Mr Inglis, 49, who works part-time for the Department for International Development, said it would be the aspiring MasterChef contestant that was most likely to buy the product.

"For those who like food done the proper way this is going to be a great product," he said. "For the sort of chef who gets up at 5am in the morning to go and source proper mushrooms, for that high-end restaurant market, it's going to be a must-have.

"We live by the sea, so I tried cooking a few things with sea water and I couldn't believe the difference it made in the flavours. It was remarkable. So I started to look around and see if this might be viable as a business and spoke to some people within the industry who seemed to think it would be possible."

Some leading chefs have already tried and liked what they have tasted of the new product, which has long been a feature of ancient sailors' cookbooks, as well as a staple ingredient in some of the world's best seafood restaurants. Noma, the Copenhagen restaurant named last month as the best restaurant in the world, offers langoustine cooked in sea water as one of its starters.

Roy Brett, head chef and proprietor at the Edinburgh seafood restaurant Ondine, was impressed after trying it. "The taste is amazing. What it does to food is remarkable," he said. "I've been cooking a lot of shellfish in it as well as other dishes, and it just gives them a fantastic edge, and a real salty tang of the sea."

Tom Kitchin, the Michelin-starred Edinburgh chef, said he was also attracted to the idea. "What could be fresher than storing and cooking with natural sea water from our Scottish shores," he said. The water can also be sprayed on salads and used to cook vegetables as a healthy alternative to salt.

A lot of bottle

*When King Henri II of France tasted water from Spa in the valley of Ardennes in Belgium, he believed it had healing qualities. He began exporting it in 1583 and bottled water was born.

*In 1789, the Marquis de Lessert had a similar experience in the town of Evian-les-Bains in south-east France, when he claimed the spring water cured his kidney stones. Local doctors began prescribing the "miraculous water" as a health remedy. The spring's owner began selling it in bottles in 1826.

*Last July, a small town in south-east Australia put itself on the map by outlawing sales of bottled water. Officials in Bundanoon cited environmental impact as the reason for the ban. They removed bottled water from the town's six shops and built public drinking fountains for people to fill reusable bottles.

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Sales Manager (Fashion and Jewellery), Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Volunteer Digital Marketing Trustee needed

    Voluntary, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Are you keen on...

    Java Swing Developer - Hounslow - £33K to £45K

    £33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...

    Corporate Events Sales Manager, Marlow,Buckinghamshire

    £30K- £40K pa + Commision £10K + Benefits: Charter Selection: Rapidly expandin...

    Day In a Page

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

    Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

    Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
    Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

    Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

    This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
    Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

    Why did we stop eating whelks?

    Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice