When cooking lasagna today we let it bubble just a little more than needed or was called for, just so to get some burned edges. Not the whole dish blackened - but enough to get a little bit of the sauces "overcooked" on the top edge. Know what I mean? At the same time, the same ingredients could be used in a thin noodle dish and I’d never think to add a little char to it.
Regardless, it got me thinking about other dishes where “burnt” doesn’t mean disaster.
For example, burnt ends at a BBQ place. To some it is refuse while others think it’s the best fare to order. In fact, many people seemingly prefer certain BBQ dishes with a bit of blackness on the fringes (chops come to mind), or “bark” that either can be eaten or discarded.
Taste wise, there could be an element of intense caramelization that’s appealing. It can also add some extra chewiness for those who like contrasting textures. Or in the case of bark, it can be a means to help the cooking process.
That said, I don’t mind chomping on a handful of charred popcorn kernels. Not burned popped popcorn, but the odd wretched refuse seeds that refuse to fully pop. Am I a fringe element?
What about you? Are there dishes you like a little burned? Or does it make you cringe?