When Chef Heston Blumenthal, one of the world’s leading pioneers in molecular gastronomy, quotes the 18th-century French gastronomer, Brillat-Savarin, by saying “The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star” — he means it.
Blumenthal, who popularized radical dishes at his Fat Duck Restaurant such as Smoked Bacon-and-egg Ice Cream, Mousse Poached in Liquid Nitrogen, Edible Sand, Nitro Poached Green Tea and Lime Mousse, recently asked The Anglesey Sea Salt Company to create something called smoked water.
The water was launched three weeks ago at the Abergavenny food festival and has created a buzz among chefs and foodies.
According to Daily Post writer Owen R. Hughes, smoked water is the latest obsession with popular chefs and trend-setting bars.
Smoked over four days in their oak smokery near Brynsiencyn, the water absorbs the flavor which is then released into foods or exotic cocktail creations.
David Lea-Wilson, director at Anglesey Sea Salt, said:
“This was tried as a curiosity but has really caught on, 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.”
He added: “Heston asked us to try the smoked water which is smoked for four days in our oak smokery. We can’t give exact details on the process or others will be doing it. Heston can’t get enough of it. The Fat Duck use it in their cooking as far as I know, to add smoky flavor to potatoes or seafood.”
Chefs are using smoked water for marinating and poaching, and food manufacturers are drawn to the idea of using it in mash or sauces, especially because artificial smoke flavoring is being phased out.
Bartenders are using smoked water to make smoky cocktails instead of using smoke guns which risk setting off smoke detectors in bars and introduce a bitter after taste in cocktails.
David Lea-Wilson says they’ve used smoked water to make ice cubes for whiskey, and it has enhanced the already smoky flavor of the drink.
Hughes claims the firm has secured a deal with quality chocolate maker Green and Blacks for a new Sea Salt milk chocolate bar, which has hit the shelves of UK supermarkets.