HEG thesis by José Luis Cabañero - Alumnus 2015

27 Nov 2017

José Luis Cabañero - Alumna 2015Remembering the future: the role of fermentation in modern cuisine

Fermentation techniques date many thousands of years; they have been one of the primary food preservation methods used historically and due to this reason they made possible nutrition and the advance of our civilization. These techniques were applied in an intuitive mode based on trial and error across generations.

Science discovered the underlying ecosystem in our food and learnt how to make safer, more durable and ready for consumption, at the same time these traditional fermentation techniques were almost abandoned and secondary benefits of healthy microbiota and flavor development were lost.

Recently a number of chefs and enthusiast have started recovering these techniques based on their flavor profile and the infinite possibilities that they offer to create new dishes. This is producing a revival of Fermentos in highend cuisine across the world and a new trend to return to traditional
techniques.

Fermentative processes provide additional advantages in the form of low energy preservation methods, and also low energy transformation of ingredients into more tasty and easily edible sources of aliments. These processes can also transform aliments that are currently discarded by the industry and provide them a second life, reducing food waste and making best use of our production capabilities and natural resources.

After decades in a fight with microbes for food preservation, the general public has generated reluctance for fermented food, called Germofobia, resulting in a distaste and fear for these preparations. It is recently that in parallel some advanced chefs have started to reintroduce this foods in their recipes and some health advocates have started to reclaim the goodness of these foods for our body; this has resulting in a rebirth of these techniques.

This paper examines and categorize vegetable fermentation and outline the possibilities to introduce these goods in the food system, the approach proposed is top-down with high-end restaurants taking a leading role in the definition and promotion of these techniques.

Institut des Hautes Etudes du Goût, de la Gastronomie et des des Arts de la Table

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