Most foods that are memorable fall roughly into two categories: emotion and flavor. This dish strikes first with flavor and that sensation becomes memorable. This dish is the radish tart by Rene Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen. Noma is known for sourcing ingredients based on its seasonality and locavorism, and using them to create new flavors through cooking and fermentation. What is remarkable about this dish is that its flavor does not come from premium ingredients, but through transforming humble, familiar vegetables. The crust is made from kelp and butter, the filling mixes yeast with coriander and fresh horseradish steeped with reduced fermented cucumber juice. The flavor at first is a sharp acidic punch, and then an overwhelming bittersweet aftertaste. The alternation between these two flavors is then repeated – a bit like the bitter and sweet notes in traditional chinese medicine if you’ve ever drank any – creating a consistent wave of two distinct flavors in your mouth. Noma did not disclose any particular history or anecdote to this dish; but their fermentation lab created its incredibly unique flavor with everyday ingredients through understanding the chemistry of flavor compounds and substrates, i.e. how an ingredient’s flavor age with different stages of fermentation, what its flavor resembles and how it can be integrated into a dish with other ingredients. They describe their methodology as “natural biotech”, in recognizing fermentation as a kitchen tool in the way that a frying pan or an oven might be used.