Saturday, October 20, 2007


This is an excerpt from an article I read in Popular Science. The series of articles this month is about "The Science of Cooking" and discusses how chefs are using technology to create new flavor options and etc.

**These days, servers at particularly innovative restaurants ask questions such as, "With those clams, would you like the seaside?" At the Fat Duck outside London, the chef Heston Blumenthal has concocted a multi-sensory experience he calls "Sound of the Sea." He presents a glass plate suspended above a bed of real sand. On the plate is a layer of sand-like particles, what looks like the foamy residue of a wave and, in between, clams and other seafood morsels. The particles and foam are edible and tasty.
But before you're given the plate, you get an iPod playing seashore sounds through the earbuds. On one special occasion, the chef brought out a fan whose blades were painted with an ocean fragrance to blow a gentle breeze on the diners. This is a fish course like no other - meant to satisfy, sure, but also to transport you to another place.**

I have to admit that my first reaction to this is disgust, for two reasons. One, I don't like seafood, but secondly, because that is not the purpose of food. Food was created so that we could sustain our lives, not so that we could entertain ourselves and spend incredible amounts of money on totally ridiculous things. I can only imagine the reaction of someone who has too little food, or no food, to an article like this. Someone told me one time (my mother, I think) that as we reach different socio-economic platforms, we respond differently to food. In poverty (ie the Great Depression) we ask, "Are you full? Did you get enough to eat?" In the middle class, where money is not as much of a problem, we ask, "Did it taste good?" When we have too much money, we ask, "How did it look?" This article really seems to verify her statements.


Auntie M said...

I love the last little "thought for the day" at the end of your entry. It could also be applied to clothing....."Are you warm?"...."Does it fit?"...."Is it in style?"

Babystepper said...

Very true, Auntie M.

Darla said...

I read an article that mentioned that a while ago, too. If I remember correctly, the article was about a book that explained how to marry someone from the upper class. I wish I knew which book it was... if only so I could read it and be appalled. :)

JAM said...

I think your mother had it exactly right. This is just the kind of thing that a person who just bought a $900 purse and two $600 pairs of shoes would want to eat after a hard morning of shopping on Rodeo Drive.

It's meaningless to me. Plus, I'm a guy. If there's a big hunk of meat on the plate, I'm good to go. Hold the sea-foam please.

aftergrace said...

Food that's too thanks.