Sea Grapes are native to only Okinawa, Japan in the western Pacific.
Caulerpa Lentillifera (their scientific name) love tropical, warm waters and scientists have been able to set up controlled growing locations throughout the coastal lines of South East Asia.
The Japanese name for sea grapes is “Umibudo” which loves warm and absolutely clean sea water.
Umibudou is cultivated directly in the western Pacific Ocean throughout the year in large, floating seawater plants, harvested only by hand. Cleaning, sorting, washing processes and the final dehydration prior to packaging is all done on land though.
In the cooler season, green caviar is grown in large fresh water tanks in the greenhouse as water temperatures in the Pacific ocean are no longer ideal for growth. As sea grapes require a running fresh saltwater supply, we pump the ocean water out of the Pacific ocean from approx 100m/300ft to ensure clean waters prior to hitting our filters.
In ideal conditions we can harvest fresh sea grapes every 3 weeks approximately, if the water is too cold or there is not enough sunshine the period gets extended to up to 5 weeks. “Green Caviar” sea grapes do not grow at temperatures below 15°C/60°F, so cultivating them in Europe and many parts of the US is not possible. Due to the dehydration process we use sea grapes can be enjoyed globally now, as dehydration increases the shelf life of seagrapes from only a couple of days to a full 12 months.