Semilla: A Pioneer in Food Pairing
Hi everyone! Today’s review is about Semilla in Paris (not the one in New York – although, I should review that one too for all our Vegetarian readers). One of the main reasons I liked this place was because each ingredient was like a single firework. And, each dish had 4-5 major ingredients that, when eaten together, became a hypnotic explosion of flavors that left me in a serious daze. And, you might say that all dishes fit this description. But, as you will soon see, the components of each dish are a bit unusual. There are influences from different cuisines and ingredients that you never thought would taste good together magically happen to make sense at Semilla.
Address: 54 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris, France
Menu changes daily
There are a few dishes I want to talk about today. The first is a Trout Gravlax with Vegetable Maki and Strawberry Chutney (see above). Do you see what I mean yet? Gravlax is Nordic, Maki is Japanese, and Chutney is Indian. What is going on here?! MAGIC. That’s what’s going on here. I’ll stop panicking when I start talking about Gravlax. Gravlax is usually raw salmon cured in salt, sugar, and dill. At Semilla, they use Trout instead of Salmon.
In the past, Nordic fishermen would throw salt on the fish and bury it in the sand to ferment the fish. This process will give the fish a nice salty taste and a silky texture. Today, the same process still occurs but with minor differences. You no longer need sand to cure a fish. You can just use a dry marinade of sugar, salt, and dill (or other herbs). Anyway, the maki and the strawberries were good supports for the delicious trout gravlax as unexpected.
We also tried the White Asparagus with Puréed Orange and Pantelleria capers. Once again, orange with asparagus?! SORCERY. The white asparagus is made by depriving the vegetable from light. Based on science, a plant's chlorophyll cannot create its green color without light. What does this do to the taste of the asparagus? The white asparagus is more firm and milder in taste than its green brethren. Overall, it was a solid dish. It was just a whole lot of pleasant flavors that I don't usually taste together.
For my main course, I got the Pig Fillet with Spring Vegetables, Gravy, and Cherries (see above). This satisfied my Thanksgiving food craving. I liked that the gravy was nice and light. It seemed like gravy without the added flour. Flour (or cornstarch) usually transforms the meat juices into a thick, creamy sauce. It was interesting tasting cherries with my pork but I liked it. The pork was so lean that you could have fooled me into thinking it were turkey for a few bites.