Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lee's Chopping (on April, 31st)

I realized one thing today: haute cuisine is not sustainable. Take for example a tomato: Paolo does not uses canned tomatoes, but prefers fresh ones for best quality. So these tomatoes are peeled and de-seeded, a process in which you take out all the pulp and the seeds. Which is of no big matter when you have these watery, greenhouse-grown, never-have-seen-the-sun-or-touched-the-soil tomatoes. The nice, juicy tomatoes I was peeling though were full of red pulp that actually looked quite yummy. Not being able to throw food out, I put all of it in an extra bowl, figuring if no one else uses it, it would be my dinner, sexed up with a splash of Cosimo's extra virgin olive oil and Guido's balsamic dressing sauce.

When it came to prepare a fast pasta for the staff, Paolo grabbed the bowl to cook a quick pasta sauce with it. One which I actually thought was very yummy - what else can you expect when a great chef like Paolo cooks. So while I was munching happily (great food and I saved the planet having saved the pulp!) Paolo came up to me and inquired: "so, what do you taste?" "Homemade egg pasta, with a dash of tomato sauce and shrimps??" I answered shyly. He shaked his had as a response and patiently pointed out to me that the sauce had a much higher acidity than it would have, if I had used only the outer tomato. Turns out the inside pulp is much more acid, so if you want to get the best of the sunny tomato taste in a dish, you need not use the inside pulp.

So learning for myself and everyone who is interested: when you want to bring out the best in your tomato based dish, do not use the pulp. You can put it aside and use it the next morning to spice up your breakfast omelette! j985ktbscm

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