Folks, you will have to bear with me, because this is a food post.
But I am super duper excited about the Nordic Food Lab and all the cool things that they are doing. While I have yet to know if what they call delicious is actually in fact delicious or simply highbrow innovation talking, it sure sounds good on the web.
First of all, who or what is the Nordic Food Lab? From their website: “Nordic Food Lab is a non-profit, self-governed organisation, established in 2008 by head chef of Noma Rene Redzepi and gastronomic entrepreneur Claus Meyer. Our purpose is to explore the building blocks of Nordic cuisine through traditional and modern gastronomies, and to share these results with chefs, academics, industry, and the public. From a houseboat in Copenhagen harbour, we investigate old and new raw materials and techniques, developing knowledge and ideas for the Nordic region and the world.” Basically, they get to experiment all day long with weird and wild and wonderful ingredients especially Nordic ones. And they’re located on a houseboat. In Copenhagen. How cool is that!
So their latest passion and project is insects. They are already convinced that insects are a wonderful and delicious food source, so now they are on a mission to change the Western world’s mind about insects and their eatability. They even have government funding, a research team, and an advisory board (Alex Atala and Paul Rozin[PhD] are on the advisory board).
They just had a Pestival (doesn’t it just slay you?) in London, where every dish in the eight-course meal was centered around or contained some sort of insect, from bees to ants to grasshoppers to moth larvae. (You can see the menu here)
So the bees were what really got my attention. Guillemette Barthouil, the master of geography (whatever that means) at the Nordic Food Lab set himself the limitation of creating an incredible dessert based on the beehive itself. While we normally consider the beehive, wax, etc. as something only to be consumed medicinally, he wanted to change this by taking the flavors out of the different components of the hive, and infusing it into other things. This way he could take theses incredible flavors out of the already-processed bee products and transfer it to an edible form.
So he made beeswax infused ice-cream served with honey kombucha sauce and honey crisps, which together made this dish. (Photo credit: Nordic Food Lab)
You can read the full story here, which is really quite spectacular and far more detailed and scientific than my wanting explanation here. So here’s to bugs and their culinary possibilities!
‘Til next time! -Kristi