Froths and Foams

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Joined Feb 19, 2002
I know that a few years ago a trend began that had chefs incorporating the use of foamed or frothed sauces into dishes. I read about it first and then experienced it at a couple of high-end meals. I recently experienced the bubbly sauce again at a mid-range restaurant.

I have not read much about the use of froths in any of the cooking magazines for a while. I want to know if this technique has now just become a commonplace fixture on menus or if it is a trend that has fizzled out.

Terrarich
 
2,550
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Joined Mar 13, 2001
I noticed the foamed or frothed in cookbook photographs, especially Charlie Trotter's. For my part, I'm not particularly fond of them as they sometimes really don't look appetizing. I wish that trend went away, quickly! :confused:
 
1,586
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Joined Jan 5, 2001
Me too!!!! I especially detest the word 'foam'; it reminds me of polyurethane.

Although, we can't really forget that this is not really such a new concept. After all, what is a sabayon (sweet or savory) or a sauce mousseline if not a "foam"?
 
60
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Joined Feb 19, 2002
I have only had foamed sauce with fish. Contextually I guess it does apply since the sea foams and texturally I appreciate the sensation that the bubbles provide. I have to add that the menu did not specify that the sauce was foamed so it was usually a surprise to see on the plate.

Is the problem that the technique is not appreciated or just the notion that the fad is over-played?

BTW, I sure wish that Nikko would remove my earlier post. I was just trying to include this topic in the two forums I thought would apply to this inquiry. How embarrasing!

terrarich
 
5,192
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Joined Jul 28, 2001
terrarich,
I'm forum illiterate, but I think you can go to the post and hit the edit button. I've changed spelling this way, maybe you can delete.
But like I say, I can't even get a little funny picture or quote.
 
60
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Joined Feb 19, 2002
Strange...

I just received in the mail from a friend today an article that she snipped from the 04/12/02 Friday Chicago Tribune that covers the trend of using foams in food. It quotes Trotter and Tramonto that the froths are being over-used and that they are backing of the use of it some. My questions were mostly addressed in this article. Complaints in this thread are confirmed by the article.

Terrarich
 
2,550
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Joined Mar 13, 2001
Terrarich,

I found the article you are referring to:

CULINARY WORLD IS IN A LATHER OVER FOAM
Chicago Tribune; Chicago, Ill.; Apr 12, 2002; Judy Hevrdejs Tribune staff reporter;

Abstract:
Parmesan foam. Foie gras foam. Clam juice foam. Yellow beet foam. Potato foam. Tomato foam. You name it, some chef has probably foamed it -- pumping, beating and whipping air into all sorts of foods -- to tantalize, to tease. Not everyone is overjoyed...

Since the Tribune charges $$ for this article, please be kind to us and type the article! ;)
 

isa

3,236
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Joined Apr 4, 2000
Those sauces are so unappetizing I can not understand what they are doing on a plate.
 
1,586
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Joined Jan 5, 2001
It can have it's place in certain dishes, esp desserts.

We used to mix a thick, rich esspresso anglaise with whipped cream (à la minute) to make an "esspresso foam" that had a beautiful marbled effect. We used it under a flourless chocolate cake, topped with figs in Bagnul, and candied citrus zest. It was a huge hit.

Susur Lee used to make a bright red pepper/ancho foam (with egg whites) that he would use in a gorgeous green avocado soup for example.

I find it works well with very pungent flavours such as mustards. The key to making it work is to keep the presentation extremely neat. I've seen it served dribbling down the sides of slabs of meat, and it looks... pre-digested. Yuck!!

Few seem able to pull it off. I still wish we'd stop calling it "foam! :D
 
60
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Joined Feb 19, 2002
The article is rather long so I don't believe that I will be practicing my typing tonight. I can provide highlights...

Touches briefly on Ferran Adria's international influence. Later in the article Tramanto of Tru is quoted as stating that Adria himself might be over the froth, likening the froth period to Picasso and his blue period.

Trotter and Tramonto, although they still apply the technique to some of their dishes, say that some of the young guns are using it too much and putting the word froth or foam on one menu maybe six or seven times.

Descriptions on how there is proposed legislation in Britain to reduce the amount of "head" allowed on pulled pints in the pubs, the use of foam on cappucinos and other Starbucks beverages. Also some suggestion that there is scientific evidence that when something with foam is eaten or drank that when the bubbles break they increase the sensitivity of the tastebuds.

I have had foam before and enjoyed it. The dishes I have had with it have always had the foam on the bottom of the plate with the featured item on top, never overwhelming the visual aspect.

I take it from the response to this thread that the trend is generally frowned upon. Is it because it is over-used now? Are there any supporters of froth out there (besides Anneke)?

terrarich
 

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