Why Mustard Fruit May Be Michael Symon's Favorite Thing To Cook

If you ignore the time celebrity chef Michael Symon lost "Iron Chef America" to Masaharu Morimoto in a 2005 battle of asparagus, the James Beard Award winner has proven himself unbeatable as a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV personality. As a Cleveland native with Mediterranean and Eastern European roots, Symon's restaurants feature menu items that are inspired by his home city of Cleveland and his family's heritage, per his website

While Symon closed many restaurants over the years, the Cleveland flagship of his popular barbecue joint Mabel's is still going strong. The chef's culture-fusing approach to food is clearly laid out on the menu, which brings bright, acidic flavors of the Mediterranean — such as sherry vinegar, lemon, and dill pickle seasoning — to otherwise heavy dishes like pork belly and spare ribs. With his signature blend of traditional and modern cooking comes a balance of opposing flavors, which is why you'll often find a blend of sweet and savory elements in Symon's dishes. As if to prove this point, the chef shared an Instagram post on Thursday revealing one of his favorite things to cook: porchetta and mustard fruit.  

Mustard fruit brings sweetness to rich porchetta

Like any good social media-proficient chef, Michael Symon took to Instagram to reveal his casual Thursday-night dinner, which one could argue is tiers above that of the average home cook. The post showed a juicy cut of porchetta, which is a generously seasoned Italian pork roast, per Serious Eats) drizzled with oil, vinegar, and golden-hued mustard fruit (an Italian condiment made from poaching fruits in a mustard-flavored syrup). "A little fun with porchetta & mustard fruit .. still maybe my favorite thing to cook .. certainly up there," reads the caption. 

The post received a slew of positive comments, including from NYC chef Alex Guarnaschelli, who quipped, "WHATEVER. Cook your turchetta." Lots of commenters said they were drooling over the dish, and others used the comment thread as an opportunity to tell Symon how awesome he is. "Your zest for life & food is unbelievable!" wrote one user. "So wonderful to experience your enthusiasm." Commenters seemed inspired to try the dish on their own. While it may favor Italian ingredients over those of the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe, the dish lines up perfectly with Symon's yen for pairing the sweet with the savory.