|Adam Melonas's "Octopop": a very low temperature cooked octopus fused using transglutaminase|
|Oyster Mushrooms in BC, gorgeous aren't they.|
Foraged meals have the potential to be spectacular right from the start. As the Italians fully understand, something that is freshly picked and grown native to your area tastes like a little piece of place and time. The challenge is in getting familiar with the forageable ingredients native to our region, a skill that is quite lost on us in Canada as most of us are immigrants. A hefty chunk of foraging fear comes along with the territory, mushrooms are scary (or not if you learn about them - check out this mushroom ID trip)! On an intellectual level, I understand the hunter/gatherer movement, it fits in nicely with the 'eat local' mentality which is essential to our survival. We're looking to have a closer connection with mother nature, so that she doesn't turn her back on us. Intuitively, I 'feel good' about this trend more so than molecular gastronomy. Foraging is something that we need to be careful with though, so that we don't tax our dwindling and fragile natural ecosystems. Foraging is challenging and time consuming, no doubt. But hand picking a chanterelle, bringing it into your kitchen and introducing it to butter and a good sherry is simple magic.
Not that these trends are mutually exclusive as the worlds top rated restaurant NOMA would attest to.
But what do you think?