You know, people have always travelled. Cars have moved people, horses have moved people. But people move efficiently now, so part of the goal is to give chefs a lot more ease in having a complete understanding of processes and tools with various techniques. I've been using the Dry Ager for about three years, but dry aging has actually been a technique in the food service world, except that we now have a manufacturer who is presenting it in a proper, sensible, accurate, and hygienic way.
So essentially, any meat protein can be dry aged, from beef to pork to lamb to duck to poultry, but everything has a specific timeframe that it reaches its optimum aging period. So once one is familiar with that period, you can really create a big flavor depth in most of your proteins. We have beef in three different ages, from 21 days to 45 to 60, showing the more complex, lasting flavors on the far end as opposed to what the simple, fresh meat tastes like. The Dry Ager allows a chef to have control over most of their protein program, in terms of meat maturation and fermentation in addition to other esoteric or necessary processes like culturing and fermenting. In the modern technique of dry aging vegetables, we can expose things to heat, cook the cellulose, and then remove moisture, thereby concentrating the flavors, and you get really fantastic results.
So one of the interesting things we all love to eat is bread, butter, and cured meats. So, the Dry Ager is able to make very good, accurate, delicious salumi based on classic, traditional processes. I've never had an issue with mold, mildew, or anything that was detrimental to the aging of the meat. The flavors are amazing, and even with longer aged periods, past 60 to 72 to 90 days, the meat just developed more complexity. This is particularly fascinating because the Dry Ager is able to maintain its humidity and temperature control without a water connection. Dry aging makes all of the processes of aging and curing efficient, and as far as the return on investment and the guarantee of results, I think that's the beauty of the machine.
The Dry Ager is fantastic and I think we've only just scratched the surface in terms of possibilities, but as soon as we continue to explore more and do more detailed experiments, I'm really very excited at what the possibilities in the future are for dry aging.
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Shola Olunloyo, of Studio Kitchen in Philadelphia, shares how the Dry Ager influences his production and preparation methods.