This is almost the strangest thing I do – I cook with tea.
Well, to be honest, I do many, many strange things, especially in the kitchen, but cooking with tea still fills me with a sense of wonderful, uneasy awe, as in: “How is it possible to cook with this stuff?” But possible it is, and very delicious, to boot.
I use tea as an herb, a spice, a flavour-enhancer. Depending on the type of tea you use, it can convey a background nuttiness, or sing a front-and-centre fruitiness. Tea cuts sweetness, adds complexity, and acts as a fixative for many natural flower and fruit flavour essences. Tea is the surprise ingredient in that fabulous recipe – the ingredient that no one can ever guess.
Tea also adds plenty of antioxidant value to your recipes, as well as making some of them easier to digest. Really, it’s a kitchen wunderkind… but only if you use it properly.
This weekend I will be presenting a Cooking with Tea workshop at the Victoria Tea Festival. My presentation starts at 3 pm on Saturday, February 13th. Get recipes, try samples, and learn all the best tips on how to make tea work for you in your recipes.
In the meantime, you can try out my recipe for Japanese Sour Cherry Tea Sorbet or Chai Honey Butter on the blog, OR my world-famous Lapsang Souchong Salad Dressing designed for the wonderful Silk Road Tea Company.