KABOOM! Everything is in our faces these days. With Rob Ford Nation coming to a TV near you, have we lost the art of subtlety? This is an apolitical post as the Rob Ford debacle speaks for itself and there are pundits wiser than I, hypothesizing on the whys and wherefores of the current situation here in Toronto. This posting is about the loss of understatement. In a world where everything seems larger than life, are the gentle, sweetest details being overshadowed?
My foodie comparison of this would be the use of orange rind versus an ingredient like roasted orange peel powder. Orange rind is easy. You grab an orange and zest it. The flavour is obvious, an explosion of orange oil hits your tongue and blam! You are transported to a sunny summer day on a beach. It’s wonderful and there is a place for it…BUT it’s not suitable for every occasion. One size does not fit all in the real world or the culinary world. Powdered Roasted Orange Peel Powder is delicate and most definitely a process. Half the joy of cooking is the road you travel.
Roasted Orange Peel Powder Directions:
1. Carefully peel oranges making sure that you leave the white pith off of the final product (it’s bitter).
2. Leave the peel to dry on a piece of parchment for at least 24 hours (up to 48).
3. Oven roast the peels until they are crisp and slightly browned approximately 10 minutes (you can do this when you are cooking something in a moderate oven to save energy).
4. Cool rinds and then powder.
* Chocolate and Zucchini has a great description of the process for Lemon Powder (similar for oranges). Check it out. This powder keeps for months. I like to make about 4 oranges worth – which means you will have some juice left over for a great recipe!
The result is a subtle, caramel orange flavour. It does not smack you in the head – but it’s distinctive and imparts a unique flavour that orange zest could never replicate. I love to use it in my cream cheese pound cake and shortbread (but this is for another posting;) A flavour that stays in the background but is most definitely an integral aspect of the composition. My Momma used to say the devil is in the details. It’s true. Don’t forget the subtle things in life, they may appear to be of lesser value on the outset – but for me they are the ingredients that make the leap from goodness – to greatness.