Our colleagues from the BENEO-Technology Center recently launched a tasty initiative. Every month, 12 colleagues will be invited for a culinary tasting in the food application centre. This is where our food experts work on recipes with BENEO’s functional ingredients. A few months ago, a culinary chef joined the team, taking our plant-based food application recipes even a step further. So, needless to say I was very excited to be invited to taste his creations for the very first time.
And so, culinary chef, Jelbrich, created a tasting menu with 5 plant-based dishes for us to enjoy. We came with empty tummies and a good appetite!
Starting the plant-based experience.
Hungry to get started, we met up in the application centre at our site in Tienen, Belgium, to discover Jelbrich’s creations. What a nice opportunity to discover how BENEO’s ingredients can work in different plant-based dishes.
We started off with Tarama, which is a typical Greek salty seafood dip, served as an appetizer with a crispy biscuit. This vegan version was based on cashew nuts and offered a nice and creamy texture with a fish-like taste. In this dish, our chef used rice ingredients, chicory root fibres (Orafti® Inulin) and the sugar replacer Isomalt. In fact, a fantastic example of how our ingredients come together.
The culinary experience continued.
Then, we tried a crunchy seaweed ball with a mushroom filling. Did you know that using seaweed is a healthy way to reduce salt in your dishes? Me, being someone who loves to salt things up, I did notice the taste was quite subtle because of this. Additionally, the filling of this ball was made with mixed mushrooms, with rice starch as a binder. For the crust, textured wheat protein was used in the layer below the coating. Furthermore, rice protein was used to obtain a crispy coating. Conclusion? Great crunch and a satisfying taste.
Our third dish was a steamed bun where textured wheat protein was used to create the meat-free filling. Again, a great example of how plant-based solutions can offer just the same indulgence and taste. The dough was nice and juicy. Because it was steamed, it was not as chewy as you sometimes experience when buying these buns.
My vegetarian taste buds were quite pleased.
Then we went to my personal favourite; the mushroom cheeseburger. Being a vegetarian myself, I’m always on the hunt for good burger-replacements. This is really the only thing I miss since quitting meat. And this mushroom version sure did deliver! The mushroom mix, together with Meatless® Faba bean flakes, offered a soft and juicy burger, and the vegan cheese on top was just the right addition to it.
To end this culinary experience, chef Jelbrich created a veggie vol-au-vent. An all-time Belgian classic, so this is a real challenge to create a plant-based version that would convince us. The result? Everyone liked it! The chicken was replaced by Meatless® Chicken Chunks, and the meatballs were made with textured wheat protein. A winning duo when creating this plant-based version of the popular dish.
There are more culinary tastings to come!
From now on, this occasion will take place once a month. So, a lot of colleagues will be able to enjoy this experience.