Know Your Distilled Chili Peppers

Photo: p22earl/Flickr

Among many other things, one of Alinea’s signature techniques involves running thai chilies through a distillation process to produce a clear liquid that has all the flavor of a hot pepper, but none of the actual heat. (In fact, we’ve heard chef Grant Achatz expound upon in public appearances — it comes right after the story about the distilled milk.) We realize it takes three to make a trend, but two sure is a coincidence: today, Laurent Gras expounds upon the technique over at the L2O blog, where he does it to a jalapeño.

“I juiced the whole jalapeño and distilled it,” Gras writes. “The distilled liquid is crystal clear and only the flavor from the pepper remains. Later we set it as a gum.” How to identify your tasting-menu chili distillations in the wild: Alinea’s preparation is served at the beginning of the meal, in a shot glass, and incorporates Thai flavors; L2O’s is a pre-dessert, takes a gummy-flower form, and is served on top of a jalapeño-apple sorbet.

Jalapeno [L2O Blog]

Know Your Distilled Chili Peppers