A note from Walter Trupp on choosing ingredients
The greatest challenge for the passionate home cook is to obtain top quality produce. Did you ever see a top chef sourcing their ingredients from a supermarket? This would equate to career suicide! The reasons are clear as supermarkets are the worst place to obtain quality ingredients.
Fruits and vegetables are continually harvested unripe and often up to 2 years before they end up on supermarket shelves. They are frequently irradiated to make them last much longer or stop them from developing shoots, processed using waxing, harming natural aroma and development. The natural flavour and texture of herbs is altered through hydroponic farming. The flavours the cook has to work with are limited by the Supermarket. Unfortunately, the focus of supermarkets is on appearance while nutritional value and flavour are not of concern.
When it comes to supermarket meat and fish, you are staring into the void. Supermarket meat, for example, is too young to have developed much texture or flavour. It comes from feedlots and is saline rinsed. In most cases, hormones are present, and the label “no added hormones or antibiotics” does not mean the meat is free of them as you would find out by studying food labelling laws. The truth is they were simply not added by the last processor. Fish, when defrosted, is treated with many preservatives and unsuitable for any quality dish. Freezing fish hardens the meat, and unfortunately, frozen fish is never the real dea
When choosing low-quality produce from the majority of supermarkets, you will not succeed in your cooking. If you were to have access to good produce, you would quickly realise this is one of the great chefs’ secrets. Good chefs know that a perfect ingredient in its ideal state, ripeness or maturation carries and looks after itself during the cooking process
A perfect ingredient in its best state does most of the work for the chef, allowing an excellent chef to nurture it through the cooking process and boost its appearance while marrying it with other top ingredients. This may sound very simple; however, learning to go the extra mile when buying your produce is of great benefit. Once you establish this regularly and build a rapport with suppliers, you will find it easier to obtain prime produce.
“Dedicated to bringing the chef out in you”