Alfalfa sprouts, dandelion, seaweed…there was a time when none of these ingredients would be on a menu or in an ingredient list in the U.S. Now they’re old hat and it seems that ordinary barnyard hay is the newest contender in flavoring for everything from quail eggs to seared scallops. SmartBrief recently presented a WSJ article describing the trend as new, although Chicago chef Grant Achatz at Alinea was noted as an early adopter.
Some of the world’s top chefs are experimenting with hay to add a taste to dishes that is described as “rustic,” “haute barnyard” and even “smoky and strangely familiar.” Recycled hay is not recommended, nor is cooking with it at home. Hay is highly flammable. Ask Mrs. O’Leary.