Every two weeks we introduce new flavours to our menu. It is a hectic period - a lot of research, how to compose the recipes, what is the name going to be, ingredients scouting, tests. After the mad tempo, we always take a few moments of quite contemplation and discussion - the moment of balance before we continue to the next step. This search for balance has become a permanent part of our process, we noticed. Spontaneously, the hypothesis was - hm, that must be what growing up is - interrupt the constant search for excitment and discovery with moments of quiet recollection.
Young Adult - our chocolate and parmesan flavour is dedicated to the realisation that our wants and desires are slowly taking a slightly different trajectory. We take on journeys with the same vigour and energy as in any young person, but with more contemplation, calm and interest in what is beyond the horizon. And so our Young Adult had to be much more than the sum of its parts.
Chocolate and parmesan are occupying very different pages on the menu. However, it turns out they share quite a lot - chocolate contains 6 out of the 8 most important flavour and aroma compounds of parmesan*. Three of them are in the groups of pyrzaines and esters which most strongly determine the flavour of cocoa and chocolate.
These six shared compounds determine the fruity, nutty, herbal and coffee/chocolaty notes in both ingredients. When we first tasted the Young Adult we could not easily tell which part of what we sensed came from the chocolate and which from the parmesan. The overlap in critical compunds made sure these two can bond well and deliver a result beyond what we knew about the taste of the ingredients. It truly had become a completely new flavour!
It was also very important to choose the best parmigiano reggiano and chocolate we could find. Huge part of the aromatic compounds of both are formed during the cocoa fermentation and roasting; and the long months (typically 24) while parmesan is ageing. During these processes various bacteria, enzymes, proteins, polyphenols, etc. are doing their magic to form the complex flavours in the final product.
We are happy to talk more about it and Yound Adult is already available in our shop on Van Hallstraat 222. We are open Tue-Sun from 12 to 21 o'clock.
Plus, there are four more new flavours in our new menu (11-24 May), a brand new Shape Shifter and Twilight Sword is making a comeback due to popular demand. On the Flavours page you can discover more about the four concepts around which we organise our creations (click through the links for more info).
*In the group of Aldehydes and ketons: 2-Methylpropanol, 2-Methylbutanal, 3-Methylbutanal. In the group of Esters: ethyl hexanoate and ethyl octanoate. In the group of Pyrazines: 2,6-Dimethylpyrazine.
1. Ana Clara Aprotosoaie, Simon Vlad Luca, Anca Miron - Flavor Chemistry of Cocoa and Cocoa Products - An Overview, Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, Vol. 15, 2016. pp. 79-81.
2. Michael Qian, Gary Reineccius - Potent aroma compounds in Parmigiano Reggiano cheese studied using a dynamic headspace (purge‐trap) method, Flavour and Fragrance Journal, Vol. 18, Issue 3, pp. 252-259.