Foams? What do foams have to do with food? Yeah, its
a good question. There may be nothing new under the
sun, but there are new ways to go about doing things.
Ask Edison, or Gates.
It was just about three years ago when I began to
hear talk about a particular chef in Spain. This Spanish
chef was freaking out a lot of his neighboring French
chefs with his invention of using nitrous oxide-fueled
whipped cream canisters to dispense more savory foods.
Like beets and stuff. The technique seemed quirky
to me at first. But, it was intriguing too.
As my curiosity revved up I talked to some of my chefs
about it. They got excited and found a source for
the little thermos-like tools that the chef in Spain
was using. We went to work in the "R & D"
area of the kitchen between shifts
Last year I went to this Spanish chefs restaurant,
El Bulli, (The Bulldog). His, now world famous, name
is Ferran Adriá. He is quite a man and perhaps
I will do a column one day about our dining experience
Over time we developed a few very tasty foams for
our guests at Normans.
But why a foam? You may still ask.
Well, so much of our enjoyment of food is the tactile
and textural aspects it can convey. We love the crispy
edges of a good French fry, the soft luxury of just
melting ice cream, the crunch of apples, or the pliant
chewiness of greens.
The various foods we put them on can create unique
opportunities for food flavor pairings that might
be familiar, like sushi tuna with wasabi, but with
the wasabi in the unique form of foam.
A foam fills ones mouth with a voluptuous mousse-like
fullness that sits on our tongues like a weighty bubble,
(albeit briefly), and then implodes and dissolves
like an edible fireworks display we cannot see but
most definitely can feel as it slips languidly passed
our surprised taste buds and down our throats.
Ready to try some?
Copyright © by Norman Van Aken, 2000