All you need to know about Unelaborated Products
Ferran Adrià’s elBullifoundation takes a deep dive into the uncooked and unprocessed ingredients that form the foundation of all cuisine
Not all food is cooked. Anyone who has ever bitten an apple or shucked an oyster knows this, but few of us would consider writing a cookbook on the subject. Then again, few of us think like Ferran Adrià. Since closing his internationally acclaimed restaurant, elBulli in 2011, the innovative, internationally acclaimed chef has worked alongside the culinary experts at his own elBullifoundation – a culinary academy and think tank – to describe, express and record the simple methodology that lies behind the way we all create food.
Now, in his latest book, Unelaborated Products, the chef and his foundation look at unprocessed and uncooked culinary foodstuffs. The book is the first-ever survey of the ingredients found in nature that are used as the building blocks of all cuisine. Over these 520 pages, Ferran and the Foundation’s experts focus on four chapters: ‘Questions about unelaborated products’, ‘Understanding products according to classifications’, ‘Product classifications and categories’ and ‘Applying the classifications’.
Unelaborated these products might be, but this new title is far from simplistic. Indeed, it’s a fascinating work, which classifies and categorises these goods in an understandable, practical, first-principles way.
The book’s main objective is to offer an understanding of the many products available for our use, especially those not requiring the application of processing techniques, and discern their characteristics via numerous classification criteria. The volume also presents a detailed analysis based on diverse disciplines that help us to understand and contextualise unelaborated products, and to express them in a simple, understandable and practical way.
Yet there are plenty of diverting asides too. In these pages readers will not only begin to understand why we choose certain parts of earth’s rich bounty for our cuinse, but also realise the link between peas, passion fruit and watermelon, and even the role hedonism plays in cookery. As the book puts it, “unlike other species, whose dietary instincts are exclusively determined by biological factors, we show a preference for products that provide us with enjoyment.”
The book’s crisp, analytical prose is complemented by a wealth of compelling infographics, diagrams, and illustrations that make this fascinating subject easy to comprehend.
Elaborated Projects is the perfect book for culinary professionals and enthusiasts, as well as anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the history and fundamentals of food. It's the perfect addition to Phaidon’s Ferran Adrià library alongside A Day at elBulli, The Family Meal, What is Cooking, and The Origins of Cooking. You can find out more about Unelaborated Products and order your own copy here.