At Benu, Corey Lee has come up with a faux-fin soup that made it onto SFoodie's 2011 list of our favorite dishes. Part of his 12-course tasting menu, the soup is a grand and subtle dish that captures the silky chew of the fin. Despite the fact that the effect is created by using a blend of gelling agents to create filaments of broth, the black truffles and crab ensure that it's no less luxurious. Even your grandmother would be impressed.
Wild osetra, now that it has almost disappeared from the Caspian Sea, has been replaced by farmed sturgeon roe with no loss of status. As I was writing this week's article about the proposed shark fin ban, I wondered: Can anything substitute for the luxury ingredient's marvelous texture?
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