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At NOMA, Bacteria and Yeast Are The New ''Ants''

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At NOMA, Bacteria and Yeast Are The New ''Ants''
Photo Pursuitist

A few months ago René Redzepi, the world's number one chef, caused quite a stir by serving ants on the table at this Copenhagen restasurant Noma. The acclaimed chef has since refined his idea, settling on an ant paste that is said to taste like kaffir lime leaves.

However delicious ants may be, Redzepi now wants to push the culinary envelope by experimentning with yeasts and different types of bacteria. “It changes the chemical composition of food,” Redzepi said of his experiments with bacteria and yeast in the test kitchen. “After many months, you get a magic process,” the chef told Reuters.

Compared to how the Noma team harvests ants, yeast and bacteria sound much tamer. But there is nothing subtle about Redzepi's methods of experimentation. His team at the Nordic Food Lab have been tinkering with submarine sauerkraut - pickled cabbage that is fermented at the bottom of the sea.

The team made two identical batches of sauerkraut, which were composed of two equal parts white and red cabbage packed with 2% salt. One batch was kept on the Nordic Food Lab counter, while the other was vacuum-packed, weighted, and thrown overboard into the sea.

The differences between the two batches were astounding. As you may notice in the picture below, the batch of submarine sauerkraut (on the right) resulted darker in color. It was described as being ''moister, crunchier, and not quite as lactic,'' which the team attributed to ''a slower fermentation.''

Whatever delicious dishes these experiments lead to, we're excited to see if they will make Noma the world's best restaurant for the fourth consecutive time.

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