There is a place where technology and the locavore food movement met, fell in love, and began making beautiful things together. It’s called the Nordic Food Lab. Their blog discusses everything from molecular cuisine to recipes for creating your own terroir. Their statement of purpose “is to explore the building blocks of Nordic cuisine through traditional and modern gastronomies, and to share these results with chefs, academics, industry, and the public. We investigate old and new raw materials and techniques, developing knowledge and ideas for the Nordic region and the world.” http://nordicfoodlab.org
Computer food programs are being used to develop new and interesting food combinations that are high in flavor and low in calories. But we have already been using mathematical models and computer programs for alcohol for many years. Check it out at http://www.yobrew.co.uk/card.php. Computers are also, of course, used in large-scale food production, apps for counting calories, we use graphics and CAD to market and package food, and the analysis of culinary trends.
More often than not, we see modernity and tradition as being in opposition to each other. As we deconstruct our world we lose sight of the larger picture. In our culture, the women’s lib movement has left us with skewed view on femininity strength and values. We believe that “modern” women should shun the kitchen, children, or homemaking in lieu of a profession. Men might even have been indoctrinated with worse. We are left with strife rather than balance; ideology instead of flexibility; a world where rational scientific method and the creative processes of nature are seen as being in conflict with each other. One place they need not be is in your kitchen.
I don’t need a computer to tell me that today’s recipes would go great with a bright Spanish white wine and some Jamón Serrano or ibérico.
(Photos compliments of Nordic Food Labs)
Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response.
Arthur M. Schlesinger
White Gazpacho (from kingarthurflour.com)
- 8 to 10 slices stale white bread
- 2 cups blanched slivered almonds
- 5 to 10 cloves garlic (more or less to taste)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups ice water
- 12 slices stale white bread, cut into crouton-sized pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bunch seedless green grapes, for garnish
1) For the soup: Combine the 8 to 10 slices stale white bread and cold water to cover in a small bowl. Let sit until bread is soaked, about 5 to 10 minutes. Squeeze water from bread, set bread aside, and discard water.
2) Combine the almonds, garlic, and salt in a large-sized food processor. Process until the almonds are completely ground.
3) Add the soaked bread; process till smooth.
4) With the motor running, gradually add the oil, then the vinegar. Process, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the mixture is smooth.
5) Add the 2 cups of broth, and blend again until smooth.
6) Pour the mixture into a large bowl, and stir in the cold water, adding more for a thinner soup, if desired. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
7) For the garnish: Drizzle the bottom of a large baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Toss the bread cubes with the remaining olive oil, and place them on the baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 30 minutes, until the cubes are crisp and light golden brown.
8) To serve: Remove the soup from the refrigerator and stir a few times to make sure all the elements are combined. Ladle it into bowls, and top with generous amounts of croutons and green grapes.