Monday, June 28, 2010

Man, Oh Manna


Seems people are promoting Ancient Manna on Modern Menus

...When the sons of Israel saw it, they said to one another, What is it? In ancient Hebrew, what is it can be rendered man-hu, a likely derivation of what this food has come to be called, manna. The Bible describes it as being like coriander seed, and white, and its taste was like wafers with honey.

...Mannas form best in extremely dry climates like the Middle Easts where sap oozes at night and dries up in the morning. The favored theory on what the Israelites called manna is the sap of a tamarisk tree...Behroush Sharifi, a New York dealer in rare spices and dried foods from the ancient Silk Road whos known as the Saffron King, imports two venerable forms of manna from Iran: Hedysarum manna and Shir-Khesht

...Garrett McMahon, a sous-chef at Perilla in Manhattan, uses Hedysarum manna with sea salt to finish off a foie gras terrine with Marcona almonds, candied kumquats and toasted brioche. The manna allows us to achieve a sweet, salty balance while maintaining a great crunchy texture, Mr. McMahon said.

...Even more complex and subtle is the Shir-Khesht manna from the cotoneaster nummilaria shrub. Shir-khesht looks like broken-up bits of concrete or coral and is whiter than hedysarum manna. It is sweet, with some gumminess that eventually dissolves in the mouth...

Well, what do you know. Another Bible story come true.

(Kippah tip: RH)

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