A Tokyo-based French restaurant called ” Ne Quittez Pas” (“Please Don’t Leave”) decided to turn dirt into a $110 delicacy by offering a “dirt course” consisting of a potato starch and dirt soup, salad with dirt dressing, aspic made with oriental clams and a top layer of sediment, a dirt risotto with sauteed sea bass, dirt gratin, and dirt ice cream.
Rocket News recently tested the food and described the taste as “delicious” and “divine”, noting that a dirt flavor was absent. However, the obvious question is whether this stuff is safe to eat. According to Saeko Torii, a rep from the dirt manufacturer Protoleaf, “the dirt is called Kuro Tsuchi and it’s volcanic ashes mixed with soil and plants from the Kanto District in Japan. It has good bacteria, healthy minerals, and is natural and pure.” But that likely won’t help dirt food land on U.S. menus.
Dirt isn’t regulated for human consumption so it’s hard to know the effects it would have on a person,” says Rebecca Scritchfield, a Washington, D.C. based registered dietitian. “Food gets its nutrients from soil, but one does not eat the actual soil. What’s more, countries have different safety regulations—people in Scotland eat sheep brains but that’s not allowed in the U.S. Protoleaf says their soil is safe to consume but is it safe to eat by American standards? We don’t know because we don’t really know what’s in it.
Whatever the case, Japan was recently developing food from human turds, so the use of dirt is actually a step up. Hit the jump for additional pics.
Dirt risotto with sauteed sea bass
Salad with dirt dressing
Dirt ice cream
Aspic made with oriental clams and a top layer of sediment