MASTER­CLASS

Noma’s RENÉ REDZEPI and DAVID ZIL­BER share how they pre­serve the fresh flavours of spring as­para­gus.

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Oct -

A step-by-step guide to fer­ment­ing as­para­gus.

Peo­ple have al­ways as­so­ci­ated our restau­rant closely with wild food and for­ag­ing, but the truth is that the defin­ing pil­lar of Noma is fer­men­ta­tion. That’s not to say that our food is es­pe­cially funky or salty or sour or any of the other tastes that peo­ple iden­tify with fer­men­ta­tion. Try to pic­ture French cook­ing with­out wine or Ja­panese cui­sine with­out miso. Fer­men­ta­tion isn’t re­spon­si­ble for one spe­cific taste at Noma – it im­proves ev­ery­thing.

Each spring, we look for­ward to eat­ing white as­para­gus, but its sea­son is short. Fer­ment­ing the as­para­gus gives it an af­ter­life that keeps us sus­tained through the colder months of the year. This recipe comes from our long-time friend and an­ar­chist farmer Søren Wi­uff. The mild bit­ter­ness of the as­para­gus in­ter­acts with the cit­ric acid of the lemon and the lac­tic acid formed dur­ing fer­men­ta­tion to cre­ate a har­mony not un­like that of a per­fectly ripe grape­fruit.

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