I remember friends who thought of instant noodles as gourmet food, and associated anyone who ate them as "upscale food snobs" compared to what they had to eat. I cried tears of laughter and sorrow at their sad state of affairs. I couldn't cry around them as my salty tears would no doubt be captured and used as seasoning..
So where are we heading here? I am wanting to point out that the simplest and purest forms of food are also the best.
The high popularity of the Food Network and all the varieties of cooking shows such as Top Chef, Master Chef, Iron Chef, Diners Drive ins and Dives all share one thing in common. They stress the importance of fresh and ideally local ingredients.
Ten years ago 50,000 people watched the Food Network each night, today it is around 1.1 million. People are more aware than ever that the tastiest dishes use the freshest ingredients.
As much as we overcomplicate things in life it seems food when left to its simplest forms is ideally the best. Look at the greatest restaurants in the world and they all share that same ideal. They are not serving canned tuna or instant rice. Nor are they using hormone grown feedlot cows for their beef.
Chefs don't always have your health in mind, but they do have your taste buds in mind. If dishes they create are not going to cause the "wow" factor and blow you away with their flavours they are not going to make a dime. It's interesting however how there seems to be a direct correlation between high nutrition and great taste. The simplest and cleanest foods produce the boldest and strongest flavour profiles. That's why world class chefs use them. If a canned, processed black truffle tasted better than a wild one they would probably use them. But nothing does, thats why black truffles can cost over $1000 a kg.
You just need to look at the menus to see clean and natural food.
Three Michelin stars is the highest achievement a restaurant can attain. These are some of the most expensive places to eat on earth and the wait list to get in can be months. At the time there is only 100 or so 3 Michelin starred restaurants in the world. Again a look at these menus shows locally sourced, fresh ingredients.
Everyone knows Gordon Ramsay. His 3 Michelin starred restaurant 'Restaurant Gordon Ramsay' features various things on the menu such as:
- Local cotswald lamb with spring vegetable and wild and new season garlic
- wild organic sea scallops
- wild atlantic king crab
- line caught sea bass
These are just a few examples, the point is simple and natural ingredients are what the rich and elite are eating. You can be pretty sure the ceo of McDonalds is not eating big macs in the local McDonalds. Rest assured they are eating in restaurants like this.
The number one restaurant in the world for the last three years is called Noma, in Denmark. This restaurant takes it to another level. Not only is it using fresh simple and organic ingredients but the restaurant actually forages for local ingredients. They have staff literally out in forests and by streams finding wild mushrooms and fresh herbs and its all put together in an ever changing menu depending on what's available and what's fresh. In fact we get the slang word for food, 'grub', not from the insect of the same name but from the Germanic word which means to dig and forage.
some examples off their menu:
- fresh milk curd
- wild onion
- wild beets and plums
- wild potato and plum
- eggs from free range organic chickens and wild herbs
Clearly they are world class chefs but keep in mind these are ingredients you and I could find if in the same area for free and a tasting menu at Noma will run you $300 with a 3 month waiting list to get into the restaurant.
The point is simple is best. And when it comes to food it seems that simple also tastes the best. And there seems to be a direct relation between high flavour and high nutrition. The cleaner we can eat the healthier we will be. Cleaner food also fills you up more and leaves you feeling fuller longer
Now if you excuse me I'm off to forage for wild truffles..
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