The seaweed wrappers used in maki are called nori. Nori is an alga, traditionally cultivated into the harbors of Japan. Originally, algae was scraped from dock pilings, rolled out into thin, edible sheets, and dried in the sun, in a process similar to making rice paper. Today, the commercial product is farmed, produced, toasted, packaged, and sold in standard-size sheets. Nori by itself is an edible snack.