Taste from the tube

Fermentation is the means of choice to bring more flavor to the plate. That was the case in the past, as shown by products such as soy sauce or miso. At that time, the preservation was also an important aspect of this technology, today the taste potential of fermented products is in the foreground. In restaurants and laboratories experiments are carried out to achieve complexity and depth, especially in “plant-based” dishes.

Lots of white tubes with our Tasty Paste
Tasty tubes

Laboratories, experiments, fermentation … sounds complicated, but the results are convincing, which is why the effort is worth it. Even in the best kitchens, however, not only are highly complex processes pursued, shortcuts are also popular here, at least if the result is right. Based on Magnus Nilsson’s Tasty Paste and David Zilbers Burger Glaze we have developed a product that with relative Little effort can be made and still offers a lot of taste potential. Nilsson’s version is a little more elaborate, but both versions have one thing in common: fresh yeast.

Don’t be afraid of good taste

So basically a yeast extract. Yeast extract, isn’t that … this is exactly about glutamate. There is a lot of discussion about such – naturally occurring – ingredients, more on this in our interview with Prof. Dr. Thomas Vilgis.

For our Tasty Paste we use celery, carrots, garlic, smoked garlic, shallots, vinegar, yeast, water, mushrooms, vegetable oil and butter. We carefully clean and chop each vegetable. We peel the black and smoked garlic from the brown fermented peel. We chop the two types of garlic and the vegetables in a kitchen mixer with water, oil, vinegar and yeast. We fill the resulting intensely smelling vegetable and yeast porridge into a large saucepan. We cover the surface with cling film. We leave the pot prepared in this way for 3 days at room temperature – to ferment. We can observe that some liquid settles down and the vegetable pulp begins to ferment upwards through the yeast. The smell is intense and pungent and it smells of shallots, vinegar and yeast. The smell becomes stronger, more intense and soon unbearable.

Smell and taste

Doesn’t sound like appetizing, but it’s not all that surprising. Garum, the Roman fish sauce refined many dishes, the production facilities were located but mostly on the outskirts of cities, because the smell of fish fermenting in the warmth was unbearable. So we are on the right track …

Time = Taste

After three days of fermentation, we boil the vegetable puree once completely and then let it boil over low heat for 5 hours. After the 5 hours we cool the already visibly boiled down porridge. For the next two days we cook the porridge for 5 hours a day. On the third day we cool the porridge down completely and put it in the refrigerator at 4 degrees. Here the porridge matures / ferments for another day. We heat up some butter and mix it into our Tasty Paste. Fat tastes good – so the butter enhances our taste booster, but the paste would certainly also be very tasty purely vegan.

We then let the paste run in the kitchen mixer for about 10 minutes and then pass it through a fine sieve. Then our Tasty Paste cools down on a tray. The cold mass is mixed again before we fill it into tubes using a piping bag. Packaged in this way, the product matures for another 4 weeks. Whether it is a practical taste from the tube or the unpleasant aromas dominate, we will soon taste …

Incidentally, the unusual tube taste has a long tradition. In Italy, anchovy pastes (fun fact about which: the singular of anchovies is… anchovies) tasty successors of the Roman garum.

Our variant of the Tasty Paste is vegetarian but has the same taste!

A spoonful of Tasty Paste in front of an upside-down tube