Paperbark is a natural material can be used as a food wrap to impart a delicate smokey flavour to chicken, pork, veal, poultry, kumara, oysters, fish, scallops … the list goes on. Paperbark is biodegradable and unlike similar functional materials it is not plastic coated (potentially carcinogenic) nor made of aluminium (potentially contributing to Alzheimer’s disease). Here’s some more on the evils of foil and why we are better off using paperbark.
The pieces of bark in the Paperbark flatpack can be thinned depending on the thickness and nature of the sheets. Lie the bark on the bench and work your fingers in from the edge to separate the layers. Occasionally, some thicker pieces will not split as we are conditioning new trees and some bark can be a little corky. Use these as they come or reserve for display pieces. They make great coolamons if simply bunched up at the ends and tied with string. A skewer can help hold the shape too.
The 10mm thick flat packs typically yield 5-8 separate sheets and there will be several sizes available. At the moment we are listing our standard size of 350 x 300mm and 10mm thick when dry. Moistening the sheet will expand the size to 20mm thick and makes the splitting easier.
Wrap the food in an appropriately thinned piece of paperbark and bake it in an oven, a dry heavy pan or on a hotplate over medium heat. It imparts a delicate smokey flavour which works best with white meats and starchy vegetables which are slowly cooked in the paperbark so that the smoke created when the natural oils in the bark are combusted and absorbed into the fats in the food.
Of course you can also use paperbark for its visual appeal and bake fish in its own juices and without added oils or fat; although we’d recommend our paperbark smoke oil for these more delicate, fast-cooking items. Our paperbark smoke oil adds the flavour really simply – brush on the smoke oil once the food is cooked. See the information specific to the paperbark smoke oil for more details.
Suggested recipes using Paperbark Roll