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