Bone broth: what’s the big deal?

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Bone broth: what’s the big deal?

The age-old flavour-packed liquid, used for everything from settling the stomach to forming the base of delicious dishes, is currently taking the world by storm. TASTE investigates the trend

Let’s not kid ourselves, bone broth – currently being hailed as a magical elixir by many – has been around ever since folks found out that you can extract flavour from ingredients by boiling them. But, much like the cyclical nature of couture, certain epicurean creations have the tendency to come in and out of fashion, and currently broth is very much at the top of the wheel.
The name really says it all: bones are simmered in water for hours, resulting in a flavourful, clear broth that can be sipped as is, or used as a base for soups, stews or sauces. And, in case you were thinking it sounds an awful lot like regular stock, you’re not wrong. But, there’s nothing like a bit of clever rebranding to get people interested in an existing product, now is there.
In New York, models and actors are lining up around blocks to purchase cups of the stuff. Why? There are a few reasons. One of the biggest, is the current popularity of the Paleo diet, which emphasizes eating in the same way as it’s presumed early humans did (lots of fish, meat, veggies and fruit) – consuming the likes of coffee, tea and dairy are largely verboten.
Marco Canora, chef of New York’s popular restaurant Hearth, is one of the many converts to this diet and, since he couldn’t have his regular caffeine fix anymore, started drinking cups of the stock he had simmering in his kitchen. This sparked the idea to open a little hatch-door outlet aptly named Brodo (Italian for “broth”) that exclusively serves bone broth, including Hearth broth (combining turkey, chicken and beef bones), organic chicken and gingered beef. You could also add the likes of shitake tea, chilli oil or bone marrow for extra flavour. And the price? Anywhere from R50 to R110 a cup. Quite ironic since it’s always been considered quite a thrifty drink to make.
Apart from being a flavourful pick-me-up that’s gluten-, dairy-, caffeine- and MSG-free, broth outlets and home-delivery businesses are also growing at an exponential rate (and not just in America, mind you) because of the health benefits associated with the drink. It’s believed that the long boiling process of the bones releases minerals, proteins, fats and collagen. The last-mentioned ingredient’s allure lies in the fact that it’s said to do wonders for a dewy complexion and glossy tresses, hence the celebrity draw.
If you think bone broth is something you might be into (heck, who doesn’t want luscious locks?) or just to see what all the fuss is about, check out this recipe from Marco himself. Happy brothing! (Yes, we just created a new verb.)

Annette Klinger Article by: Annette Klinger

Woolworths TASTE’s features writer maintains that almost any dish can be improved with butter and cream. She’s a stickler for comfort food, especially German treats that remind her of her late grandmother, such as pork schnitzel with sauerkraut and spätzlen. She is a voracious reader of food magazines and recipe books, and instinctively switches over to the cooking channel whenever she checks into a hotel or guesthouse.

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