Food from the forest at the heart of new recipe book
27 October 2014 News
Produce grown in sustainably managed PEFC-certified forests is the focus of the brand new recipe book “Cuisine from the Forests”, written in collaboration by PEFC Spain and top female chef Charo Val.
The recipe book, which was recently launched in Madrid at the Abadía Retuerta winery, brings together a collection of recipes all made from foods that originate in the PEFC-certified forests of Spain.
During the launch, Ana Belén Noriega, Secretary-General of PEFC Spain, explained that the recipe book forms part of a wider project known as Tastes of Sustainable Forests, the aim of which is to promote PEFC-certified products within the food industry.
The project was launched in late 2012 when PEFC Spain carried out an assessment of how produce with forest certification was appreciated in the ‘haute cuisine’ sector by surveying Spain’s top chefs and most renowned restaurants.
The survey revealed that 81.6% of respondents believed that their patrons would warmly welcome the presence of wild forest products from a sustainable source in their culinary creations and considered that forest certification provided the consumer with guarantees in terms of traceability, thus enhancing the saleability of forest products in Spain. The head of the sustainable forestry association stressed clearly that all stakeholders in the forestry world “have to depict the forest from a fresh angle, from its flavors and its aromas, from the viewpoint of bio-economy and the value of all the resources it provides us with”.
Enrique Valero, Director of Abadía Retuerta, highlighted his winery’s commitment to forest sustainability, backed by their certificate in sustainable forest management: “Thanks to PEFC, we have placed value on everything Nature gives us. About 70,000 pine trees surround our winery and we use their nuts in our cooking as well as honey from our beehives.”
Charo Val pointed out the need to bring sustainable gastronomy in closer touch with the end consumer: “What we truly need is for producers to place their produce on the market; all of us should search for and support the PEFC logo as a guarantee of sustainable sourcing.”
Charo Val was also accompanied by her colleagues Toni Canales and Bárbara Buenache. Toni Canales (Head Chef at the El Bohío restaurant and a competitor in the first edition of the famous Spanish TV Show “Top Chef”) underlined the virtues of forest products in ‘haute cuisine’ and added that “incorporating the flavors and aromas of the forest is an enormous step forward and the only way to really appreciate our surroundings”. Bárbara Buenache (Executive Chef at Sushimore) revealed that she is already using various forest-grown products, such as pine nuts and wild mushrooms, in their Japanese cuisine recipes.
Finally, journalist and popular figure Miguel Angel Almodóvar praised both the work of PEFC Spain and the culinary treats offered by Charo Val, “half sorceress, half fairy,” he said, “capable of offering us the very best of the forest with her recipes. It is in the forest that we find our origins, it is our essence.”
Once the presentation and speeches had concluded, attendees were offered miniature versions of the various recipes in the book followed by a luncheon designed by Charo Val based on forest products, including Iberico ham from animals reared on pasture lands in Andalusia that are sustainably managed and hold PEFC certification to prove it – the first food product to be awarded such a distinction.
Cuisine from the Forests
Cuisine from the Forests includes products, techniques and practical tips designed to enable the reader to implement sustainable cooking with a forest bouquet.
As well as revealing some of the mouth-watering delicacies the forest conceals, how to get the most out of them in the kitchen and the importance of sustaining their usage, it also features about twenty recipes based on products with multiple possibilities in cooking and pastry-making: fungi, truffles, aromatic plants, pine nuts, chestnuts, honey, free-range Iberico ham, etc.
This 106-page recipe book has been printed on PEFC certified paper.