Tuesday, July 6, 2010
In The Weeds
"When a cook is said to be in the weeds..."
Thus begins the article on René Redzepi and his restaurant Noma in The New York Times. It actually was put on the "cover" of said news paper's web site.
(It kind of makes you wonder what The New York Times is not reporting on. Makes me wonder that, anyway.)
You've got to admire Redzepi's dedication to local indigenous plants. The article mentions such delicacies as Scurvy Grass and Sorrel. And yet, once those happy feelings have abated, you're left with what's the big whup?--at least regarding use of local and wild plants (his plates look quite exciting.)
Harvesting local, wild plants (including mushrooms)...yeah, uh...yes! Um, isn't that how it used to be all the time? Is this part of some kind of larger cultural trend...maybe a larger cultural trend against culture?
Not to make things harder on anyone, but if I were designing a culinary curriculum, one of the questions would be "name at least 5 perinneal and 10 annual herbs that can grow in your zone." Another would be "identify, harvest and prepare or incorporate 10 different 'wild' plants from your region."
What are the native, edible plants here in the Okanagan? Do Elderflowers count? How about Saskatoon berries? Wild rose hips? Help me out! Can't we make a big "cheat sheet" of all the edibles with pictures and everything? Flowers too: can't tell your calendula from your bergamot? Shouldn't there be a one stop web resource for Okanagan chef's for all that info?
Late breaking news: Noma cookbook available for pre order.