Posts Tagged ‘exotic food’

It’s Good for Sleeping On and It’s Even Good to Eat

December 11, 2010

You may have thought that hay was just for horses, but it turns out that not only is hay something that humans can eat, it’s actually become haute couture for a number of restaurants across the United States!

The theory is that the stuff is comforting somehow and makes the food feel more grassy and simple. Well that certainly seems to be true. The stuff is being added to everything from sweetbreads to ham to veal chops.

Unused and Unslept On

Those who are concerned however will be happy to note that the hay is being sourced from producers who offer organic hay and none of it has been used or slept on by weary travelers staying in a barn.

Still, the idea that the same stuff that horses are eating and sleeping on is supposed to be something people will pay good money to eat is pretty surprising to many people.

Other Odd Foods

Then again, depending on where you are in the world, there are lots of other products that seem odd to us as Americans and people in western countries. For example, there are plenty of places where one can eat gourmet insects for dinner and things like frogs legs have been a popular delicacy in some circles for a number of years, so why not hay?

What Exactly is Hay Anyway?

Hay, is actually just (long) grass, legumes, or other herbivorous plant which have simply been dried out. And while we tend not to eat grass any more than we would consider eating hay, the stuff is quite edible and even tasty at times. Hay is used for roasting foods and may serve as the bed of a meat meal, in much the same way we commonly serve food with a bed of rice or roasted vegetables.

Typically Used for Flavoring

For all that the stuff is in fact edible however, most restaurateurs and chefs have found that hay is best used as a method of flavoring foods. Give it a shot and see what happens at your establishment. Just make sure that there aren’t any needles in your hay stack.

Exotic Food is In

October 20, 2010

Exotic is in and ordinary is out. That’s the message we’re increasingly seeing from Americans who have become pickier about where they spend their dining out dollars.

Yes, the fast food joints will always have the customers who just want comfort food. However, if you are running a more upscale establishment, then its time for you to consider offering some exotic foods that will appeal to your more adventurous diners. Insects anyone?

Okay, Not Quite That Exotic

While shows like Fear Factor and Survivor have popularized for some the idea of tasting insect based dishes, we’re talking about things that are a bit more down to earth. Try offering new menu items with unusual meats or cheeses.

Experiment with bringing in some ethnic treats from other parts of the world in order to entice your diners. Just because you’ve always had a basic menu doesn’t mean you can’t experiment a bit more.

More and more Americans are not only willing to try unusual foods, they are demanding it. And while one restaurant in Brooklyn recently served insects for dinner (the inspiration for this story), we’re going to suggest some slightly more tame foods to offer to your guests.

Unusual Vegetables

One of the great things about our modern world is the availability year round of fresh produce. Bananas, for example, are a really a rather exotic fruit that have been made into an everyday staple by modern shipping methods. However, there are still some unusual varieties of fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers which can often offer your guest new taste sensations.

Try to check what’s available from the local farmer’s market and consider and creating new and varied recipes to take advantage of seasonal fruits and veggies that may just get you the review you’ve been waiting for.

Different Kinds of Birds

Sure, everyone can serve roast duck, chicken and turkey. But how about offering emu meat to your diners? This can be a rare treat that they can only experience with a select few–your establishment included. Ask your butcher about the more unusual meats they may have available in limited quantities. Experiment. You may get some great results.