GOOD

Meaghan Clark

Food

The Unexpected Culinary Gold Mine Of Vegetable Ash

A second life for accidentally charred veggies

At January’s Good Food Awards, an event that honors tasty products as well as socially and environmentally responsible brands, Laura Chenel’s Ash-rinded Buchette earned acclaim in the cheese category. The Sonoma, California, based brand, most famous for its original “small log” soft-ripened chèvre, had enhanced their beloved classic with a coating of vegetable ash.

Vegetable ash is exactly what you think it might be — charred vegetables that are burned down into a thin, fine powder. By no means is this a new food phenomenon. The French have been dusting cheese with vegetable matter for centuries, and in the early 19th century, cheesemakers discovered that incorporating ash into the brining process could fend off insects.

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