We’re not talking about chocolate cookie crumbs sprinkled over confections. Some of the world’s top restaurants are serving entrées with a side of edible dirt, and the trend is quickly catching on thanks to its farm-to-table sensibility. Composed of dehydrated produce, edible dirt provides an earthy base to accent fresh vegetables. It’s a down-to-earth restaurant food trend.
The History of Edible Dirt
On a jog in 1978, chef Michel Bras was inspired to recreate the beautiful French countryside in a dish, later named Gargouillou. The dish uses fifty to eighty varieties of vegetables and edible flowers, plated to resemble the fields Bras ran through in his youth. Of course, the field wouldn’t be complete without a bit of dirt to garnish it.
Noma Dishes the Dirt
At Noma (the Copenhagen eatery that recently lost its title as the world’s best restaurant), edible dirt is made from dried malt and beer. It’s served in a terra cotta pot and garnished with a raw radish as part of the $260 tasting menu.
At Tokyo’s Ne Quittez Pas, the mud they’re using in their dirt risotto and dirt ice cream is made from palm fiber, ground coffee, and volcanic ash. Customers are walking away using words like “delicious” and “divine” after spending $110 on the edible dirt menu.
It’s taken a while for this restaurant trend to catch on, but from humble beginnings in France to adaption in Denmark, Japan and the United States, the trend is spreading and evolving: from garnish to main ingredient.
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