Food: A taste of bitters is sweet
Thursday 04 December 1997
"Tobacco has a great kick," says Richard. "It's a bit like chilli in some ways. It has an incredible flavour and really sets the palate on fire."
He adds that he doesn't believe there is any danger to health as he simply infuses a pinch of tobacco for 10 to 12 seconds in a syrup, which he then serves with fig or banana tart. And it seems to be going down pretty well with customers at his pounds 40-a-head modern Irish restaurant.
"At first people do think it is a bit strange, but when they try it they love it," says Richard, whose other specialities de la maison include crispy pig's ear and veal knuckle. "I like to move things forward and bring new flavours to the palate," says Richard. "I also think that with the `no smoking' policy appearing in more and more restaurants it adds a bit of fun to have tobacco on the menu."
There are other ingredients you may be surprised to find on your plate. Most commonly associated with gin-swilling old colonels, who use it to spice up their pink gins, Angostura bitters were given a new lease of life after Delia Smith used a few drops in a fruit cake recipe. As a result, the "cranberry factor" has come into play, and supermarkets have been inundated with requests for it.
At the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham last week, members of the public were being offered fresh pineapple with Angostura; a relish containing Angostura, cranberry and orange; and, of course, Angostura rich fruit cake.
In the past, tea has occasionally been used to add flavour to cakes and breads, but now everything from mulled fruit tea to Lapsang Souchong is cropping up in recipes. Last month, BBC Vegetarian Good Food Magazine featured prunes and honey simmered gently in Earl Grey and mango tea, and pears poached in lemon and ginger tea.
But according to the magazine's cookery editor Lorna Brash it is not so much about novelty as thrift. "Tea bags, particularly herbal tea bags, are simply a cheap alternative to spices," she explains.
Life & Style blogs
Most women have lived out their sexual fantasies, survey shows
Rihanna's Met Gala dress took one Chinese woman 2 years to make, was reduced to omelette meme in 2 seconds
International abortion laws: The six nations where it is still illegal to have an abortion
Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General Election 2015: Sturgeon claims Scots 'appalled' by Ed Miliband's refusal to work with SNP
- 1 Qataris pledge to expand Canary Wharf
- 2 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 3 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 4 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
- 5 Watch eerie drone footage of destroyed building in Stalingrad
£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...