Dining and Restaurants / Eating / Food and Cooking

FOOD TRENDS: Umami burger; ‘no’ to molecular; oxygenated booze

From MARS Chocolate:

Mars Chocolate has chosen Boulder for the world premier launch of a new natural snack called goodnessKnows. The nutritious snacks (made with yummy slow-roasted whole almonds, tangy fruits, toasted whole grains and extraordinary deep chocolate) are now available exclusively in the Boulder, Colo. market and will be available in Denver in April 2010. What sets goodnessKnows snacksquares apart from other chocolate products and/or healthy snacks is the fact that they are made from cocoa beans specially selected and handled to retain cocoa flavanols.

From trendcentral.com

 “Forecast as one of the leading food trends of 2010, umami has been piquing foodies’ curiosity for months. For the uninitiated, the difficult to define “fifth taste” often partners salty, sweet, bitter and sour flavors. (A more literal translation from Japanese, “umai” means “delicious” and “mi” means “essence.”) But, for those who know umami well, adjectives such as savory, rich, brothy, meaty, and earthy come to mind, and the flavor can often be found in foods like mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, asparagus, seaweed, and certain fish and meat – all foods that contain glutamate, an amino acid that imparts the umami taste.

An LAist Best Gourmet Burger finalist, Umami Burger has essentially put the fifth taste on the foodie map. While the L.A. restaurant isn’t brand new, the umami-focused menu concept is distinctly novel. From the Truffle Burger, covered in Italian truffle cheese and truffle glaze, to the Port & Stilton Burger, slathered with blue cheese and port-caramelized onions, to the malt liquor battered onion rings and kombu-spiked pickle relish. London-based cook and food writer Laura Santinni cobbled together Taste Nº 5 Umami Paste, made with umami-rich ingredients such as Parmesan, garlic, tomatoes, anchovies, black olives and Porcini mushrooms. In San Francisco, Mazu’s Black Samurai offers a shot of umami with its subtle mix of soy sauce and sake.

From serious eats:

 Last week, Italy’s Ministry of Health announced new legislature that bans the kitchen use of several of the ingredients most commonly associated with molecular gastronomy. One part of the law prohibits the “storage and use of any gaseous substance”, another the use of processed chemical additives. Under the new law, chefs will no longer be able to cook with the the liquid nitrogen that is essential to many of Ferran Adria & co.’s creations, as well as the chemical combinations, known as “powders” that are also commonly used in the cuisine.

From switched.com:

It’s the result of research by Kwang-il Kwon and Hye Gwang Jeong at Chungnam National University. In Korea, oxygen-infused alcohol is quite popular, much as soda with carbon dioxide is stateside. The scientists found that, while the inebriation caused by these beverages is just as strong as plain old beer, people who drink oxygenated alcohol recover more quickly and, most importantly, suffer far less severe hangovers.

JohnLehndorff.com

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