Ingredients are full of nooks and crannies. There is a lot of surface area for aromatic compounds to cling to. When looking at blending texture with aroma to create flavor experiences, the medium we use to infuse these ideas is essential to the enjoyment of the final dish. In order to truly take advantage of the idea of infusion and textural contrast in foods, we looked to freeze dried ingredients. In most instances kitchens do not posess in-house freeze dryers. That means if we are using freeze dried ingredients they were made elsewhere without a chefs specific taste and vision in mind. As we know well, chefs are notoriously opinionated and control oriented. If an ingredient cannot be customized it is often regarded as a waste of time.
Today we took some freeze dried rambutans and put them in a zip top bag. We took a square of paper towel and added 2 drops of lime oil from Mandy. We put the aromatic tab in the bag and sealed it. By the time we took some pictures (about ten minutes) my patience was worn and I opened the bag. I was immediately hit with the aroma of lime. I took out one rambutan and closed the bag. I stepped away and smelled the fruit. It had a wonderful lime aroma. I tasted the rambutan. It was crispy, sweet, floral and full of lime. The results were greater than I anticipated.
In this first example we kept things simple. Now we may begin blending aromatics and playing with infusion times. We are thrilled with the library of aromas we have on hand. Think about matsutake mushrooms sealed in a zip top bag with pine and black pepper aromas, and then shaved over fresh noodles or raw fluke.