Creating incredible culinary delights is as much about focusing on the aesthetics of a dish as it is about the taste and smell. If you’re a professional outfit, looking the part in your wholesale navy aprons, you simply can’t afford to ignore the way your food looks. After all, people are unlikely to want to eat something that looks as though it’s destined for the dustbin, no matter how good it actually tastes.
You could be forgiven for thinking that black food might not be that appealing to look at - but this is a mistake that a lot of budding chefs and restaurateurs make. In fact, people aren’t put off by a bit of black on their plate and sable cuisine is an emerging trend these days… there’s even a festival dedicated to black food over in the UK!
In fact, it’s due to take place on September 22nd, so just a few short days away and if you do happen to be in London right now, it might be worth popping down so you can see just what all the fuss is about.
Black food itself isn’t just regular cuisine that’s been given a bit of a dye job. In actual fact, some of the most popular ingredients are black, whether we’re talking balsamic vinegar, squid ink, dark chocolate, blackberries, coffee… the list goes on and on.
The festival debuted in November last year in Budapest and enjoyed immediate success so it certainly looks as though black food is having a bit of a moment - and now’s the perfect time to try and capitalise on this if you can.
In terms of menu options, squid ink will always be an intriguing choice and one that’s sure to have your customers ordering it again and again.
The ink itself is actually produced by squid as a defence mechanism, obscuring the vision of predators so the squid can swim away. It’s predominantly made up of melanin (which is why it’s black) and, aside from food, has also been used in cosmetics, art and writing over the years.
You could also try cooking with black garlic, an aged version of garlic that is somewhat sweet. You can use this in place of traditional garlic - but you might be surprised by how different the results are.
For desserts, what about serving up some black ice cream? We may have left summer behind but people will always go crazy for this sweet treat no matter the time of year. The black colour can come from coconut ash, charcoal, black sesame and squid ink, so just see which ingredients tie in best with the rest of your menu.