The main motivation was in finding umami alternatives to meat. One doesn’t need to look far to be reminded of the water and carbon footprints or the use of pesticides, antibiotics and the subsequent antibiotic resistance of meat that make it clear that our diets do need to reign in our consumption.
The project was an initial exploration which will be pursued in future with food used as exploration of agricultural and food based trends.
Fungi form an entirely different biological kingdom from fruits and vegetables (Plantae), or meats (Animalia). They derive their energy from a biochemical decomposition process and, as a result, have a unique nutrient profile which is at the center of an increasing number of studies. Recent clinical and preclinical research suggests that mushroom have anticancer properties (source) and support healthy immune and inflammatory responses (source). In addition, the production of mushroom can be sustainable as it requires little energy input, uses agricultural byproducts for the substrates, which can be transformed into compost post-harvest.
We see opportunities in exploiting mushrooms for their nutritional value, and therefore explore the potential in preservation methods to broaden their importance in healthy and balanced diets. This could open doors in more niche application such as food for athletes, emergency relief situations or space exploration.
Most mushrooms are a rich source of umami savour compound, which has a synergetic flavour effect on other ingredients. We would like to ferment mushrooms using koji moulds in order to enhance their umami intensity, and explore their potential in combination with or as replacement for meats. Special Equipment: vacuum sealer, dehydrator
A project with John Bertolaso and Gabriel Brueckner. The roles were equally shared in the kitchen and concept generation.