Emotions without alcohol
Through the complexity of fermentations we seek new flavours, textures and perceptions
In 2004 Mugaritz prepared a dinner called “Sentido orgánico” as part of Stravaganza Mediterránea. The team took a Basque forest to a Barcelona hotel, titillating guests not only with flavours, but also with ideas, concepts and creativity. We had to use what we’d learned about botany and the information gathered to complete the book Clorofilia, published that same year.
The menu gave city dwellers the chance to reconnect with nature as they dined on vege served on head-shaped porcelain vessels inspired by a Brancusi sculpture and created by designer Santos Bregaña for the event. The courses were paired with cold, warm or steaming hot aromatic infusions instead of alcohol.
The guests were told that the water in their glasses came from streams near the cave of Zugarramurdi in Navarra. Zugarramurdi, they were told, is famous for the witches’ coven held here in the 17th century and used by the Inquisition as proof of heresy. Stories of witches (sorgiñak in Basque) are an important part of Basque mythology. Lamias (siren-like female creatures with duck feet) would come to the streams to drink the water. So, instead of drinking plain water, the dinner guests would be imbibing water steeped in legend.
With the passing of the years, we wanted to keep this idea of drinking landscapes and we have continue working in order to offer to the guests who do not drink alcohol an interesting path to enjoy the experience.
We look for nuances that harmonize the solid part of the experience not only in the organoleptic but also in theconceptual sense. Through the complexity of the fermentation we seek new flavors, textures, and perceptions. A connecting thread that accompanies the bites, providing color, texture and new sensations. It is a example of this connection, for example, the cava without alcohol that we have devised for the dish "VANITY mineral pleasure", an Oyster with iced champagne for which we have created a cava without alcohol fermenting the natural yeast that is used to create the cava getting a drink with sweet and acidic nuances and carbonated and complex texture. Another example is the infusion of wood that accompanies the dish of "RITE Rum seeds", the kombucha of Rooibos which brings the mellow touch to the dish "Bolo de mel" or masato which remembers a sake without filtering for the dish "Warm skins TEXTURE"
Sips that lead us to go beyond the limits the liquid and solid to discover a new and exciting world.