Since I was a small child I have always loved apples. I always contemplated and observed their flavour and texture as I ate them. Over time I learned that apples of a certain shape and texture tasted much more flavoursome to my young tastebuds. My observation was that an apple that has almost straight sides and that is very small around its base tasted much better than an apple with a very round shape in the same variety. I also observed that the apple with a tight, very firm texture tastes better than the apple with softer flesh. I never knew why this was but I knew through my extensive research as an apple-munching child that it was true.
Of course I shared these pearls of wisdom with any adult who would listen . . . I’d say the responses were mixed at best, some people would stare at me speechless (and think ‘he always was a strange kid’), others would just shrug and say, ‘Apples are just apples son.’
In 2011 I had the honour of presenting at my friend
As luck would have it we happened to be walking through the King’s Garden together and I finally worked up the courage to ask him my apple question. After a minute of quiet contemplation he agreed that my conclusions were reasonable and that it was most probably down to the cell structure.
And so this broth came to be and with it a new dilemma. Every time I made it, it would mysteriously self thicken. So I tested it with other varieties of mushrooms and it didn’t thicken. Perplexed I tested it with just pine mushrooms and water and it thickened so that cancelled out the other ingredients in the recipe as thickening agents. It wasn’t evaporation either because I’d kept a close eye on the before and after cooking volumes of liquid.
So I emailed
But what did I really learn? That an apple is never just an apple.
Place 4 young artichokes in the base of each bowl. Place 3 pieces of olive and 2 macadamia nuts between the artichokes and scatter the leaves, petals and flowers on top. Finish with a teaspoon of the oil. Pour the hot pine broth tableside.
© 2012 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.