Maximising flavour and extending the season, are the basis behind many traditional food preservation techniques, which are now experiencing a renaissance with Chefs. These techniques, showcase skill and time-honoured crafts, to create menu appeal and boost flavour impact.
Preserving – Preserving produce is a key technique chefs adopt, ensuring a year long supply of summer fruit and winter roots and spring vegetables. Classic examples include: jams, chutneys and pickles.
Fermentation – The fermentation of salt with the natural sugars in vegetables, helps create lactic acid, which not only preserves the ingredients, but also, gives the classic sour pickled flavour profile. Pickled fish and shellfish are becoming much more common on menus, in addition to classic pickled vegetables. For example: pickled baby garden beetroot, pickled herring and pickled oysters.
Curings – Fish and Meat are cured through the addition of salt and sugar. In house charcuterie products are growing in popularity with leading chefs.
Smoked – Smoked fruit and vegetables, dairy and eggs, are now joining more commonly smoked fish and meats on Ingredient led British Menus. Increasingly hot or cold smoking is done in the kitchen, enabling chefs to experiment with more unusual smoked preparations and products.
Aged – Dry Aged Meats are popular with chefs, to help remove moisture, deepen flavour and tenderise the meat. Aged beef, lamb, venison and mutton are popular on menus. The aging of vegetables, for example mushrooms, to deepen the flavours, is becoming increasingly common.
Fire – Cooking over hot coals adds a unique flavour, that has been favoured by humans over millennia. The increasing use of modern fires in kitchens translates on to the plate, through charred, bbq and wood roasted foods. All picking up the flavour of coals and smoke.