Prior to the start of this evening’s dinner service, Noma chef René Redzepi brought fans inside the restaurant’s kitchen via live streaming on Periscope. Redzepi’s followers watched and asked questions as he gave a tour of wild plant ingredients that had been brought in from the afternoon’s forage. He explained that wood sorrel “takes forever to pick” and that the leaves of black currant bushes, when cooked like spinach, taste of berries.
The Copenhagen chef explained the importance of using the wild edibles at their peak.
Because of the intense labor that goes into finding and sustainably harvesting the ingredients, Redzepi explains, “A plant like this will cost more than tenderloin steak or Wagyu. Finding it is a treasure. In a sense, this is much more valuable than caviar.”
When one commenter asked if anybody is characterizing the compounds in these plants, Redzepi explained, “Not in our restaurant, but they are at one of the universities in Copenhagen.”
ICYMI: Here’s a sampling of the wild edible plants Redzepi highlighted in the live stream.
Leaves of black currant
Redzepi says: “An incredible herb. These green leaves from the black currant here are very tender if you steam them like spinach. It’s a green, but they also taste like berries.”
Little shoots of Christmas tree
Redzepi says: “They are tender, and they taste of… Christmas tree, actually.”
Redzepi says: “Grows on beaches, tastes profoundly of oyster.”
Redzepi says: “Looks like a chive, tastes like cilantro or coriander. It grows on beaches. Many years ago beach coriander was big.”
Redzepi’s advice on cooking and eating? Expand your mind when it comes to ingredients, and get out there and forage.