Taste the rainbow: London’s bread is brighter than ever

Thu 05 2017  |  admin

Life is better in glorious Technicolor. It is hard to be stern when your world is kaleidoscopic so, to raise your mood, you must grasp the rainbow whenever an opportunity presents itself. Wear the red raincoat, not the black one; pick the bold cocktail, not the dry white. The richer the palette, the greater your joy.

As you take up this philosophy you will see opportunities for bright pigmentation everywhere. Every situation will have both a colourful and colourless option.

Even something as simple as getting your daily bread — for this spring the capital’s bakers have been inspired by the rainbow.

It started in Maltby Street Market — one of several open-air food hubs which serve as bellwethers for the direction of the capital’s cuisine — and specifically at Little Ghost Bagels, run by New Zealander Adam Andrews. His range of Asian-inspired bagels includes, crucially, bright pink ones. They come in several incarnations — sometimes purely pink, at others pink and charcoal — but the bright hue is always achieved using beetroot.

Many of his bagels are inspired by his homeland. For Waitangi Day, which celebrates the signing of New Zealand’s founding treaty, he created a braised beef shin burger that is a “take on the kiwi burger — a classic in every fish and chip shop in New Zealand”. This included beef, pickled beetroot, pineapple and chilli chutney, a fried egg, kewpie mayonnaise and crispy shallots, served inside a beetroot bagel. The rest of the time Andrews fills his beetroot bagels with other meat and vegan options. “I stick to a basis of sweet, spicy, salty and crunchy,” he says. “My vegan option is beetroot, potato and coconut curry with roast peanuts, mint, coriander and pickled beetroot. My meat option is ssamjang roasted pork belly with pineapple kimchi.” Little Ghost Bagels pops up at Maltby Street at weekends and at Kerb in King’s Cross on Thursdays.

You can taste the rainbow across London. Caravan, which has just opened a new site on Bankside, is serving up tombstone slabs of sunshine yellow cornbread pooled with chipotle butter, lime and a sprig of fresh coriander. It is bright, cheerful and makes regular sourdough look rather anaemic.

Food blogger Madeleine Shaw recommends spinach crepes: she serves her zesty green ones with sautéed mushrooms and tart pomegranate seeds. An image of hers that she uploaded to Instagram this month has chalked up almost 2,000 likes; the full recipe is on her website.

Even Marks & Spencer has a nod to the Technicolor carbohydrate trend: its rainbow wraps are stuffed with colourful vegetables. And don’t forget Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake — which dispenses rainbow rings with rich seams of colour running through the dough — valuable Instagram currency.

There is an obvious health benefit to colourful food: mostly colours are achieved with the addition of an extra vegetable to the dough or batter, which means you’re getting an extra vegetable with your bagel without having to try very hard. (This does not apply to those unabashedly artificial rainbow bagels, but that’s besides the point.) Moreover, spinach adds texture to pancakes, which can sometimes err on the side of gelatinous, while beetroot is high in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. As food, it passes with flying colours.

Via Evening Standard