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The good flavour really surprised me.
Adi Bittermann is a top chef, author of cookery books and world barbecue champion. He runs his own restaurant and grill school in Göttlesbrunn. As well as the right preparation, the quality of ingredients is vital for Bittermann. The HERMANN products are fresh, regional and have no additives – this is why they often turn up on his grill. He has some tips for the ideal preparation.
What did you think when you handled the HERMANN products for the first time?.
I was interested immediately, as I also hold the vegetarian world barbecue champion title. Vegetarian barbecue is always a strong aspect for me. We prepare vegetables on the grill in all possible ways. From potatoes to corn on the cob to aubergine. Everything is prepared in the most varied of dishes. The HERMANN products are very interesting because they are made from mushrooms. In spite of this, the good flavour really surprised me. The products are well seasoned, and the texture and the sensation in the mouth are juicy – very similar to meat. The products don’t contain any preservatives or artificial additives. This is a very important point.
Do you know other alternatives to meat?
How are these different from HERMANN?
Of course, I have tried meat replacement products before. After tasting, it became clear in most cases – if the product can’t impress me in terms of taste, I won’t use it. Most of the products were also packed with preservatives or additives. These products are out of the question for me anyway.
What can be combined particularly well with the HERMANN products? Are there important tips or rules of thumb here?
I’m amazed that you can use the products in extremely diverse ways. There are hardly any limits when it comes to combinations. I made a potato goulash with the sausages, and a type of piccata with the strips – which is basically strips breaded with a mixture of egg and parmesan. You can stew, steam, simmer them – actually, you can do everything.
What should you watch out for when preparing them?
Are there oils or fats which are particularly suitable, or less suitable? How does it behave with temperatures?
First and foremost, you must ensure the correct temperature. This means that you should work with a reduced heat. When barbecuing, we use approx. 240, 250 degrees. This is enough to turn the products golden, but not to make charcoal out of them. You should also use a little less heat when pan frying than you would use for meat. Otherwise, a crust develops which has an unpleasant texture and the products can become a bit tough. In all, you should use less heat and baste more often. This means pouring the hot fat over the product. Grill them for less time than meat as they are already pre-cooked and will otherwise become a bit dry.
Is there a HERMANN product which appeals to you in particular?
The cheese sausage tastes especially good. If I ever crave a Käsekrainer, this is really a meat-free alternative. The strips have the great advantage that they can be used in anything. This allows you to experiment a lot and cook some great dishes. The gyros also allows you to prepare dishes that you perhaps wouldn’t think about right away. For example, I made a sugo for pasta, but also a seasoned sandwich topping.
You have prepared many different dishes with the HERMANN products. Do you have a favourite dish?
No, you can really conjure up a great deal of excellent dishes. There is something for everyone here.