April 15, 2007

Snacks








The next set of dishes were a series of little snacks. For the most part they looked like they should be sweet - but they weren't.

3 - hojas de mango y flor de tagete
4 - fritas de pina
5 - merengue/profiteroles de remolacha y yogur
6 - catanias saladas
7 - chocolate salado de cassis, yogur y pistacho
8 - galletas de arroz y parmesano

Hojas de Mango y flor de tagete "mango leaves with marigold flower" were delicately crispy golden mango "leaves" each with a small flower at the base. The leaves were sweet and intensely mango and very crisp. Normally I'd think they were made from a sugar brittle, but the intense fruitiness of the mango would imply no high heat. Fascinating.

The fritas de pina "pineapple frites" look like little french fries but taste like light crunchy pineapple. I suspect pineapple puree frozen into sticks then freeze-dried.

Merengue/profiteroles de remolacha y yogur "Beet meringue and yogurt" were airy light beet puffs with a coating of yogurt dust. Sweet earthy beet flavor and a mild tart dairy to offset it. Traditional flavors - but a very non traditional dry and crunch presentation.

Catanias saladas "salty 'catanias'" were interesting. Centered around a walnut, with a savory deliquescent coating, then a thin delicate chocolate shell coated in cocoa. "Catanies" are a famous confection from Barcelona, consisting of an almond with a sweet almond milk and chocolate coating. This is reminiscent but with a savory walnut preparation instead.

Chocolate salado de cassis, yogur y pistacho "salty chocolates of cassis, yogurt, and pistachio" are small wafers reminiscent of fancy chocolates. The pistachio was greenish and a grainy texture with a strong pistachio flavor. The yogurt was white and delicate. The cassis was the most interesting, one dark layer and one thin white layer in the back. The dark layer seemed like dark chocolate but I suspect it was actually cassis flavored, not sweet with subtle fruit flavors. The light layer though exploded with intensely tart fruit. A shocking combination, but very tasty.

Finally galletas de arroz y parmesano "rice cakes and parmesan" look a little like rice crispies treats covered with decorative glass beads. The cake itself was dry and delicately crunchy while the "beads" were tart little balls of liquid. The entire thing was garnished with citrus zest (probably lemon, maybe citron) and a small purple flower.


El Bulli
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