The forbidden foods that prove irresistible
People are drawn most by whatever is forbidden to them. Coeliacs would give their life for a loaf of crusty bread while all diabetes patients want is a good dessert.
In 2015, we pooled the technological and gastronomic expertise of AZTI-Tecnalia and Mugaritz when we joined the Basque Government’s Gaitek programme. The aim of the programme was to develop diabetes-friendly sweet treats. Before we started developing our dishes, we visited the Gipuzkoa Diabetes Association and spent time finding out what kind of foods diabetes sufferers were strongly advised to avoid and what food they missed most.
The most exciting part of the project was the day of the tasting. Patients of all ages were invited to Mugaritz to taste the new sweets and desserts. Their glucose levels were tested before and after the tasting. We had the pleasure of seeing the joy on their faces as they ate the formerly forbidden treats, which we had made using alternative, non-prohibited ingredients.
We still use what we learnt during that project whenever a guest with diabetes comes to eat at Mugaritz. In fact, we are working on commercializing the range so that diabetes sufferers everywhere can enjoy a little something sweet now and then.