Virtual Culinary Bonanza : Hong Kong
The annual culinary festival hosted by Hong Kong Tourism Board took place online this year owing to the pandemic. Over 500 restaurants participated in the festival, including Michelin-starred establishments that served up menus at half the price. The festival’s ‘Gourmet at Home’ menu had recipes curated by top-rated restaurants. Patrons also had the opportunity to connect with Hong Kong’s leading chefs, restaurants and industry leaders through virtual pairings, workshops and classes.
Green on the Go : United States of America
We’ve got a whole new reason to fall in love with America’s favourite fast food chain. McDonald’s is all set to offer plant-based burgers, chicken substitutes and breakfast sandwiches. The new line of meat alternatives—called McPlant—will be launched in 2021. The aim of the new meat-free menu is to cater to the ever-increasing vegan client base. This move has also been driven by concerns over effects on health, the environment and animal welfare. The trials of the new menu were conducted in collaboration with Beyond Meat.
Zing of the Hing : Himachal Pradesh
A smelly acrid spice beloved by Indians, hing or asafoetida has a special place in the desi kitchen. After spending millions of dollars on importing this spice, India is finally growing its first batch of indigenuous hing. The institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh recently announced that they had planted 800 saplings of Ferula asafoetida in the cold desert of lahaul and Spiti. Mostly used to add umami to an array of savoury dishes, hing’s pungent-flavoured odour mellows to a more leek-and-garlic-like flavour, when cooked properly. Did you know that hing was once called the ‘devil’s dung’?