Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The New Black...Is In Your Plate!

From cocktail dresses to the iPod and now onto your plate! Black is chic, even when it comes to gourmet food: check this article in the latest issue of Time magazine. I had never heard of black chicken or black carrots before.

Black Silkie Chicken
Intrigued, I researched some more. The sudden interest in ebony colored food by gourmets is attested by the fact that even the New York Times ran a recent article on this trend.

Forbidden Rice"The craze for ebony-tinged foods can be traced to Asia, where inky ingredients have a long and illustrious tradition. The nutty flavors and raven tones of forbidden rice were once reserved for Chinese emperors.", says Time.

Silkie chickens originated in Asia, where they are valued for their deep gamy flavor. US chefs are more interested in the novelty factor that this meat offers. This chicken -- which has white fluffy feathers but black bones, meat and skin -- is also being touted as the new 'health food'.

The Scotsman reports, "Black-bone silky fowl have been used as a "folk invigorant" in China for 1,000 years. Now Chinese food scientists have confirmed they contain high levels of a substance called carnosine. This is a powerful anti-oxidant and is taken in supplement form in the West to improve muscle strength and alleviate the effects of ageing, autism and diabetes."

Black CarrotsThat's Fit points out the Japanese have always been fond of black food, "Historically, the Japanese sought foods such as black vinegar, black soybeans and black mushrooms for their rich taste. But now deeply-hued foods are recognized for their nutritional value."

And therefore, next time you find dal mein kuch kaala hai, it maybe because you are dining at a gourmet restaurant! :-)

9 comments:

Smita said...

Wow! Fancy food having trends! :)

Zhu said...

I actually like that! I find white plates/ bowls tend to lose their color after a while...

I read something about colors influencing the way we eat - maybe that too?

Shantanu said...

@smita, zhu: Thanks for the comments. Black tableware is interesting, but black chicken was quite intriguing. I thought they probably dipped it in some edible coloring :-)

backpakker said...

I dont mind black table ware..but black food ...! Its interesting that there are so many trends emerging .

foodette said...

Black chicken??? That is a new one! I hope to see this soon someday so I can try it. I'm not sure if I'll like it though, since you say it's very gamey. But still, who could deny something is interesting.

Chicken - no longer a white meat.

RennyBA said...

Never heard of it - very interesting Shantanu - and very exotic for a Norwegian of course. Gourmet you said and I very much agree - will look for it next time at a good restaurant in Europe.

www.terella.no

Shantanu said...

@backpakkar: Yeah, now I want to see how this stuff tastes. In this case, I hope beauty is not only skin-deep :-)

@foodette: Heh, I guess you could say that. Not white meat, but apparently healthy none-the-less.

@rennyba: Will try to see if I find any mentions of European places that serve this stuff.

Sig said...

Black chicken... wow I have seen it in a Chinese store here, and I thought it might be crow meat ;) Next time I might just buy it..

Shantanu said...

@sig: Would love to know first-hand how it really tastes.