The hard winter

Food — By Crust on November 18, 2010

Kyle’s mom sent me the Noma cookbook as a gift. I remember being at Feenie’s and all the cooks talked about the French Laundry cookbook as if it was our bible. Noma is my new bible. I haven’t put it down since I got it, even just looking at the pictures is very inspiring. I know a guy who staged there before the best restaurant thing and I think that it would have been very special, he must have really had his finger on the pulse in the world restaurant scene to know where to go.

As I was reading it I came across the sea buckthorn berry. I thought they were cool but that I wouldn’t be able to get them. Today when I was at work a supplier of sea buckthorn berries came in to introduce her product to the chef. I thought it was a crazy coincidence. I ate one and it was, tart and citrusy and then sweet and tropical on the finish. They are really high in vitamin C and have a lot of medicinal properties. I was reminded that Saskatchewan has huge capacity for growing crazy varieties of berries. The supplier said, “It’s like a buffalo berry.” I thought “what the hell is that?”

One of the reasons that I was so inspired by Noma is because they can have cold winters like in Saskatchewan. There was this cook it raw thing and Noma’s dish was ‘the jensen’s hard winter of 1941’ inspired by a winter when the waters froze and all the fish died and they ate preserved food to stay alive. The dish was pickled root vegetables, rose, elder flower, sprouts and shoots. It was the most beautiful pickles, and foraged things that can carry you through the winter. I think Saskatchewan is just rediscovering the beautiful things native to this land, and it is inspiring. The chef of Coi had a dish there as well and I was at Coi when he was developing it. I didn’t know what the dish was for at the time until I researched the Noma dish and realized that I had seen the Coi dish already in real life, and had even tasted a variation of it. I remember the chef being worried about recreating the dish in Italy using the native ingredients there.

One Comment

  1. The Other Mom says:

    I’m so glad you like the book! So that’s what snow looks like : )

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