When I think of jellyfish, I think of dangerous beauty and trips to the aquarium and those swanky nightclubs that have small, cruel jellyfish tanks for decoration and Instagram backdrops. The last thing I think of, most certainly, are cupcakes ... so when I found out that there are now cupcakes made of jellyfish, I was all "Say what?"
Yeah, there are now cupcakes made out of jellyfish. It's a thing. And it's actually a pretty cool thing. Turns out, in certain pockets of the ocean, the jelllyfish populations are out of control and overwhelming the fish populations. This information inspired David Edwards, the founder of the exhibit space, and a Harvard professor to bring the jellyfish problem to his students and have them brainstorm solutions. In many East Asia communities, jellyfish are a common source of nutrition. So when his students suggested that the jellyfish be used as an egg substitute in a cupcakes, Edwards brought in pastry chef Renae Connolly to make it happen.
The cupcakes are only one part of a much larger exhibition at Le Laboratoire Cambridge looking into ocean life and the threats that the increasing jellyfish population poses.
There are a few different opinions floating around about the use of the jellyfish. Mainly because the type of jellyfish that people eat and sell in Chinatown are not the same kind that are causing overcrowding and ecological strains. The idea, however, is creative, and has potential to spark even more solutions.
And as crazy and wacky and like "Whoa, what will we do NOW?" as jellyfish cupcakes sounds, it's actually not. Jellyfish are mostly comprised of water and collagen and make a pretty logical egg substitute. The cupcakes are not filled with gooey bits and they don't taste like the ocean.