Monday, July 16, 2012

What do you say when you are served N2O mushrooms?

Food has fast been making inroads into the world of Design.

When I started following food design  one was expecting out-of-the box combinations of ingredients, flavours, textures...the regular suspects. 
From there it moved to Experiential flavours also called Eatertainment - enjoying oysters on a plate while listening to sea sounds on your iPod to intensify the experience. I am sure there would be limited foods that can be enjoyed thus, nonetheless, it is another level of culinary experience.
And now culinary foam. Around for a while, it is a very interesting way to experience flavours, in a totally new way. Discarding cream and egg, foam is made exclusively of the main ingredient and air combined in a siphon bottle equipped with N2O cartridges.
Creator of Culinary foam Chef Ferran Adria of elBulli, which incidentally has moved from being a grandly famous restaurant to elBulli Foundation (yet to open its gates as a culinary institute), has given us a frothy talking point. 

Some of his creations include:

Margarita served in a frozen snow cube where one was instructed to scoop up the Margarita tasting slush ice together with the salted foam on top.

Olive oil spring  
Guests were instructed to put the spring on the fingers and eat it in one go, feeling it disappearing in the mouth. 
Popcorn cloud -- This ball was about 10 cm in diameter and the waiter instructed to eat in one go. Put it in your mouth and it shrinks to nothing leaving only the taste of popcorn. Ummm!

Intertwined carrot chips with lemon verbena, ginger and liquorice.

 The waiter specifies as the guest is confused about what is the food here? Mango discs with olive paste.

Golden Egg -- As you place the spoon into the mouth the crunchy outer shell cracks releasing the warm egg yolk mixed with the sweet caramel of the shell and the salt crystals.

Cherries in powdered yoghurt.

Closer home we have Chef Saby of Olive Bar and Kitchens who served us Liquid Nitrogen Sorbet at an event hosted by Miele to celebrate Chef Saby's felicitation by the President of India a few months ago. Saby served it as a special treat to guests as they entered and it really kicked off the evening on a very friendly and fun note. Visualise a dal makhani as foam served on a ice cream made of white butter and cream! This and more is coming up in a Book of World Recipes being brought out out by a Swiss company that makes foaming equipment. Saby is contributing the Indian recipes...I am marking my calendar for this book release, expected in the month of October.

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