Brooklyn Beckham’s bizarre habit of cooking pasta with a wine cork (and what chefs have to say)

A few days ago an image of Brooklyn Beckham cooking with a wine cork in the pan went viral. We tell you where this custom comes from and what chefs think about this peculiar technique.

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If a little over a year ago, Brooklyn Beckham went viral for making his own cooking show, ‘Cooking with Brooklyn’, broadcast through his social networks, now David Beckham’s eldest son has gone viral again for a photo in which he appears cooking with a wine cork inside the pan while preparing a Bolognese sauce. Although the image sparked debate, it seems that this curious technique is more used than it may seem at first glance. We tell you where the custom of cooking with a wine cork comes from and what some chefs think about it.

The technique of cooking with a cork stopper is not that uncommon. Although Brooklyn’s post received messages commenting on that fact, even making reference to the fact that he was cooking with his dog hanging out, there were also comments defending that culinary procedure. In fact, even his father David Beckham expressed his opinion on the matter, stating that this way “you get a more tender dish”. Faced with such a stir, Brooklyn himself shared in stories part of an article published in Naples Daily News in 2016 that supported that theory: “The addition of wine corks added to the cooking liquid ensured a more tender dish”.

Some Italian chefs give their opinion on the matter

In the report, its author, Doris Reynolds, commented that many chefs in Portugal and southern Italy used a wine cork to cook octopus and other fish such as squid. According to her, many of these experts claimed that in these corks “there are enzymes that guarantee a tastier dish”. Chefs such as the Italian-American Lidia Bastianich use it in their preparations, while others such as Telmo Faria or Carla Pellegrino credited this custom, according to Food & Wine.

Other chefs knowledgeable about the peculiar technique, such as chef Don Walker of Formento’s Italian restaurant (Chicago), believe it’s more of an old tale. “While there might be some merit in practice, nothing is more reliable than a great recipe with fresh ingredients, which will always help your octopus come out tender,” he concludes in Food & Wine.

On the other hand, Italian chef Barbara Pollastrini also goes more for the opinion of old theories and, even, is more blunt by questioning the wine cork method in the cooking of octopus, as collected by Insider. “The real reason the fishermen of southern Italy put corks in their huge pots where they cooked the octopus to sell it on the street is that the cork was attached to a rope to which the octopus was tied while cooking. That floating cork allowed the fisherman to find the octopus immediately, without having to search long and hard for it in the pot of boiling water.”

And you, did you know the technique of cooking using a wine cork?