Food Forever Experience

Bonn

On 2nd May, in Bonn, Germany we challenged four chefs to conceptualize and cook dishes of the future. Eifel olive, wild peach, birch blossoms and piquanté peppers were on the menu, as more than 1,500 decision-makers, activists, experts, business leaders and creatives from over 130 countries, gathered at the World Conference Centre to take action for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Food Forever Experience, Bonn showcased what we might be eating in the future if we embrace some of the weird and wonderful foods yet to break into the culinary mainstream.

Meet the Chefs

The Ingredients

  • Birch Blossom

    For a short time in early spring, sap moves through birch trees to prepare for spring growth. Birch sap is slightly sweet-tasting, rich in minerals, and can be drunk fresh or naturally fermented. It has traditionally been drunk in Northern and Eastern Europe as well as used for medicinal purposes.

  • Chickpea

    Chickpeas are traditionally popular in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes where it plays an important cultural role as well as nutritional, being almost a quarter protein. More recently their rich, creamy and nutty flavor has been in demand in Western diets. Chickpeas can grow in dry environments and capture its own nitrogen, reducing the need for water and fertilizer.

  • Goji Berries

    Vibrant orange-red goji berries are from two species of blackthorn and are traditionally used in Asian cuisine. The fruit can be eaten fresh or dried to become sweeter and are considered an alternative medicine.

  • Hemp Seeds

    Hemp is fast-growing, thrives in a variety of soils and doesn’t require chemical inputs. It has been a key part of Chinese and Indian diets for centuries and were one of the first plants to be spun into usable fibre, roughly 10,000 years ago. The small, crunchy seeds have a soft, buttery texture and are rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and can be used as oil, a milk substitute, flour, as meal, sprouted or made into powder.

  • Kumquat

    Kumquats, Citrus japonica, are much hardier plants than citrus plants such as oranges, but the small, sour fruits are still juicy and rich in Vitamin C.

  • Piquanté Peppers

    Sweet piquanté peppers are a special South African cultivar of the Capsicum baccatum chili pepper and were discovered in 1993. Despite its hot red color, it is mild on the Scoville scale. Capsicum baccatum is normally found in Central and South America, so how this variety made it to South Africa is unknown.

  • Rhine Walnuts

    Walnuts are very nutritious, containing protein, vitamins and minerals, and more omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E than many other nuts. They may be pickled when young but are more commonly eaten dried and may be roasted to turn them gold and bring out their flavour. Grown in China, Turkey, Iran, Mexico and the US, walnut trees are best suited to sunny climates.

  • Rooibos

    Rooibos, or redbush, tea is made from the leaves of a shrub native to mountainous parts of the Western Cape in South Africa. The plant survives harsh, dry conditions with its deep taproot. The refreshing tea is caffeine-free and naturally low in tannins.

  • Spirulina

    Spirulina is dried blue-green algae which was harvested by the Aztecs from Lake Texcoco and today it can be cultivated in ponds. These tiny, cylindrical organisms are bright green and packed with protein and nutrients.

  • Sweet Clover

    Melilotus, also known as sweet clover, is a grassland plant that can be eaten in moderation. The bitter, aromatic leaves are eaten raw, preferably before the plant blossoms. The whole plant can be used to make a tea with a trace of vanilla and the seeds can be used as a spice.

  • Wild Cornel Cherry

    The Cornelian cherry is a small, long-lived tree that is found around the Mediterranean. It has yellow flowers and bright red fruits that have been said to taste like cranberries or sour cherries. This versatile fruit can be candied, pickled, juiced, roasted or baked.

  • Wild Garlic

    Wild garlic can be found in the soils of forests across Europe and is popularly dug up by brown bears and wild boars. Its leaves, stem, bulb and flowers are edible but one be must careful to not confuse it with the poisonous lily of the valley. It can be used as fodder too, and cows in Switzerland were once fed wild garlic to produce milk that was made into a special garlic-flavored cheese!

  • Wild Peach

    The peach tree is native to China and symbolizes longevity in local mythology. Peaches of Immortality are said to grow in an orchard belonging to Xiwangmu, a goddess, and take 3000 years to ripen.

  • Wild Sloe

    Sloes, or blackthorn fruit, are considered rather tart to taste, and are normally processed to make liqueurs and jams. However, they may have been more commonly eaten in history, with sloes found in the stomach of the ancient man Ötzi who lived over 5000 years ago.

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