But are we sure that the customer must always accept strange or too experimental proposals?
It is no longer news that chefs go in search of that “particular” touch that draws a new boundary in us: of certain flavors, but also of prejudices to be overcome or concepts to be reconfirmed. Regardless, the gastronomic experience requires a certain attitude on the part of those who live that moment. Open- mindedness is certainly the basis of this. Of course, in front of some dishes, in front of some elements, the question is spontaneous: but why? Why does one really have to go so far? Sometimes I happened to stand still in front of a plate and turn around this question: other times I was pleasantly surprised. Let’s see together what are the most “fun” and unusual oddities proposed by the chefs. Staying on the “ice cream” theme we can have a lot of fun! One of the latest trends is snail slime ice cream. Peppe Cuti, master ice cream maker from Palermo, introduced snail slime for one of his iconic ice creams: a taste that is sour in itself but that the chef combines with yogurt and thus balances the taste. Another oddity that has touched the cuisine of great chefs is the use of sea water in the preparation of dishes. In fact, this oddity is also quite old as a custom especially in southern Italy. It goes without saying that sea water is a natural enhancer of any fish-based dish, but it is also used to enhance the flavor of a star salad! So far we have placed ourselves on a borderline, certainly, but acceptable. But you know that at Mugaritz the chef Arduiz offers a dish that is truly at the limit of understanding: angulas lives on the plate. Angulas are fluffy white worms with two tiny black eyes. Angulas are the young of eels. Don’t be surprised if angulas are among the most sought after and most expensive foods in Spain today. Returning to the Mugaritz dish, it is a fish broth (dashi) made up of basil seeds. The live eels are dipped into this broth with tongs. The taste? It is difficult to define it, the angulas themselves know little; “Accepting” the dish, however, that would be a great challenge! Another rather particular dish, but which sure got people talking about it, is Terry Giacomello’s banana peel. The idea is to make banana peels edible, with a view to food recovery. After washing the skins, Giacomello dips them for 2 days in a solution of ascorbic acid and an enzyme to make it soft. In the meantime, the pulp also undergoes a manufacturing process at the end of which it becomes a gel that stuffs the peel. Obviously the dish is inspired by Cattelan’s work. To conclude, we can mention the use that the young chef Sodano makes of fermented jellyfish and moray eels in his kitchen.