The Champagne Boutique

The magic of lemongrass

In Chefs, Marc & Andrew on February 1, 2010 at 2:17 pm

For some years now we have been exploring the origins of food pleasure and have discovered something very magical indeed called Umami, the sensation or taste related to pleasure.

Today in Champagne a few growers are making surprisingly refreshing champagnes with so much freshness that the foam disappears in the mouth just like the “Lime Foam” at the Fat Duck.

Traditionally we offer champagne with seafood, oysters or caviar like some very rich Blanc de Blancs or Blanc de Noirs with foie gras or veal sweetbreads. But then spices and herbs appeared from far-flung. Spices like turmeric, roots like ginger and stalks like lemongrass can be found in many recipes today and not only in Chinese, Indian or Japanese restaurants.

The latest example of success has been organised by the “champagnes de vignerons” (Grower’s champagne association) and a top chef from Paris, designated by the famous restaurant guide Gault & Millau as the 2009 Chef of the Year, William Ledeuil of “Ze Kitchen Gallerie” in Paris 6th Arrondissement. Strong of many years travelling the world he built for himself a cooking philosophy where all food ingredients are a “perfume affair”.

When recently tasting the range of Egly-Ouriet, Soutiran and Vouette & Sorbee I was stunned by the freshness and minerality of some of them especially the Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru from Soutiran. A very fine mousse disappearing like a cloud in the mouth and a very appealing citrus palate made me wonder what food item would be best and, after a few minutes discussing with friends, we agreed that some dishes with kalamansi or ginger would be good but then, like a thunder strike, came the idea of Lemongrass.

Would lemongrass be the perfect match to some very dry and crisp Blanc de Blancs? I will take every effort to find out for the next month or so.

But what about you? What do you think?

Have you ever experienced this?

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