An artist in residence

From June to August, we had an artist-in-residence intern at the lab. Her name is Rosemary Liss. She’ll be posting a few things from her work this past summer—this first one is a collection of images from our day-to-day. -ed. cultivating an edible consciousness found textures dehydrated buckwheat some perfect beauty cheesecloth, felt, rhubarb kombucha, rose hips, squid, vacuum bags “you begin with the possibilities of the material”– Robert Rauschenberg: Painter’s Painting (1973) utilising the glut tomato leather on stone traditional foodways lamb’s head from the Faroe Islands dehydrating the pellicle kombucha mother from continuous brew on lemon verbena tea, dehydrated at 68°C for six hours. “this is this big” a bird’s eye view crow’s foot and eco-plate “To break nature into its component parts to solve problems, as you would go about repairing an old watch, is to go about it in entirely the wrong way. That isn’t how … Read more

Symposium: The Science of Taste

by Josh Evans. In August 2014, we participated in a Symposium here in Copenhagen called ‘The Science of Taste’, held at the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters and organised by Ole Mouritsen, biophysicist, algae and umami expert, and keen gastronome (and also a member of our Board of Directors). It had a pretty great line-up of speakers, all working in different ways to unravel the complexities of food and taste. We had the honour and responsibility of cooking lunch on the first day for this esteemed group. Roberto led the team in developing a menu of four dishes based around some of our research projects and principles. The following descriptions are taken from our paper ‘Place-based taste: geography as a starting point for deliciousness‘, published in Flavour Journal, which recounts the process of developing the menu for the event. 1   Beef heart tartare We wanted to illustrate the … Read more

Calibrating Flavour part I: measuring the senses in a fast-paced world

by Kristen Rasmussen All proper scientific evaluation requires objectivity and sensory science is no exception. This is difficult because our senses are, in fact, very subjective. Think about the last time you tried a new food – maybe it was a tropical fruit on vacation or an unfamiliar pseudo-grain. Whether or not your palate accepted that novel food depends on many factors—some that can be measured chemically and physically, such as taste, smell, and touch, but other factors that are harder to quantify, like culture and past experiences, also play a role.  The projects conducted at Nordic Food Lab always include an element of evaluating and/or attempting to modulate specific flavour profiles. As a culinary-minded nutritionist, I like to point out that beyond the benefits of enjoying food, no food is nutritious unless it is eaten. I firmly believe that we should enjoy all food that passes our lips. For … Read more

The Giant Puffball

by Jason Ball Overview The giant puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantean) has a lot of culinary potential. One of our most surprising and successful techniques involved rubbing pieces of puffball with shio-koji, compressing them and curing them like meat. The result was a potent ‘cheesy’ umami bomb (to be used sparingly). We developed some dishes to explore the applications of this curious, unique ingredient. One late afternoon towards the end of July 2014, we found ourselves holding a few giant puffball mushrooms (Calvatia gigantean).  We happened upon these mushrooms by accident. Avery and I were foraging for elderberries when we stumbled upon a row of giant puffball mushrooms. To call them ‘giant’ puffball mushrooms is completely appropriate—they are larger than a basketball (though much less dense) and very rotund. We had already loaded 10 kilos of elderberries onto our bikes, but we couldn’t leave these beauties behind. We gathered them and rode … Read more

Science at Sea

In June 2014, the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science hosted the European Science Open Forum, Europe’s largest conference for interdisciplinary science and science policy. Alongside the conference, the City of Copenhagen held a festival called Science in the City, “a free festival for families, students and everyone who is curious and can’t help wondering…”. We participated in a session called Taste the Sea, where we took over the deck of one of Denmark’s marine research vessels with some other Danish organisations, and served some small tasters to share our work on underutilised and neglected edible species of the sea. Here are some iPhone photos of the ship, and posters with recipes for the tasters we served. Kitchen sign by Youngbin Seaweed Grissini About to bake Out of the oven Slow-poached egg with Round Goby crumble The Round Goby with its roe Trial plating at the lab At the event … Read more