What will those crazy Brits come up with next?
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Oak Smoked Water
The latest foodie craze: Smoked water. (Photo: halenmon.com)When it comes to cooking, there are as many fads as there are foods. Chefs have come up with savory ice creams
, used liquid nitrogen
to flash-freeze and shatter ingredients, and blasted liquids with carbon dioxide to make flavorful foams (remember Marcel from "Top Chef"
?). Now, one company has used an old-school technique to come up with the next big thing in cooking: smoked water.
The Anglesey Sea Salt Company
developed their smoked water at the request of cutting-edge chef Heston Blumenthal, owner of The Fat Duck
in England. The company launched the smoked water at the Abergavenny Food Festival
in Wales a few weeks ago, where it was an instant—and surprising—hit.
"This was tried as a curiosity but has really caught on," David Lea-Wilson, director at Anglesey Sea Salt, told The Daily Post
. "We have been very busy with orders, and it has even seen us take an extra part-time staff member on to meet the demand."
Related: Restaurants Serving Calorie-Free "Inhaled Food"
The pale-yellow liquid costs about $2.40 for a small pouch online at halenmon.com
Lea-Wilson says that the water spends four days in the company's oak smokery, where it absorbs the savory scent. "We can't give exact details on the process or others will be doing it," he said. When you use the smoked water for cooking or mix it into a cocktail, the smoke flavor infuses the food or drink.
"The Fat Duck uses it in their cooking, as far as I know, to add smoky flavor to potatoes or seafood," Lea-Wilson said. "The chefs I spoke to at the recent Restaurant Show are interested in using it for marinating and poaching."
Food manufacturers are considering it as a substitute for traditional liquid smoke, which can have added chemicals and is often artificially flavored. And high-end bartenders think it would be great for making smokey drinks.
"Mixologists are very excited, as they currently do a smoky cocktail using smoke guns, which are apparently a nightmare because of smoke detectors in the bars, and it can also introduce a bitter note into the drink," Lea-Wilson said. "We've tried it as ice cubes in whiskey, and it certainly enhances the already smoky flavor of the drink."