What is Gastrobotany Part 1
Ref: Original text from Gastrobotanica © Huerto de Elche, with all permissions to reproduce.
We call Gastrobotany to the study of new plants species, vegetables, roots, leaves or fruits for its use in cooking. We also study ancient varieties; some of them are local, produced in Spain, heirloom varieties of vegetables and fruits.
In 2003 while Rodrigo de la Calle was working in Elche (Alicante) met a botanist called Santiago Orts. At that time Santiago Orts was involved in a personal project to develop the cultivation of fresh dates, an unknown fruit in Europe, because in Elche there is the biggest Palm-tree grove of Europe. Then, Rodrigo says, “ As soon as I tasted this fruit I was immediately shocked by the extraordinary flavour, aroma, texture and different taste of this fruit if you compare with the regular ones (dry dates) we usually buy at the market”.
As Santiago Orts argue: “If we compare our project with molecular gastronomy we assume that we are thousand of miles away from the popularity of molecular gastronomy, but…who knows!! Our kind of project is slightly different to the molecular gastronomy, non technical or sophisticated instruments are involved. We use 100% nature products, sometimes even wild products (weeds), we don’t use chemistry at all”.
You may think that there are similarities to Slow Food philosophy and in deed they are, we really care about the natural products we do.
We try as much as possible to be organic growers but sometimes (as with some cytrics) this is no 100 % possible during cultivation process. We are continuously searching new varieties, ancient ones or just unknown, no matter if they are local or imported hundreds years ago by other people or cultures.
Due to the spectacularity of taste, flavours, design and forms of our products, Rodrigo de la Calle works with them as they arrive to our hands. Sometimes he uses modern techniques as vaccum, low temperature cooking and others, specially when he needs to do some extracts form cytrics perfume. (end of part 1)
Links related to What is Gastrobotany?
- Rodrigo de la Calle Menú Gastrobotánica
- What is Gastrobotany (Part 2)
- Photo Collection of Gastrobotany
- Gastrobotany The Sacred Olive Tree
- Rodrigo de la Calle Restaurant
- Huerto de Elche Nursery
- Mis Recetas tiendas Gastrobotanica
- Lo mejor de la gastronomia euroresidentes gastrobotanica
- Fotografía, Naturaleza y Gastronomía