Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Portland Report(land)

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

I heart it when conference organizers choose proper cities that (a) are walkable and (b) are a random foodie oasis.  I was recently in Portland for exactly such a conference, with my dearest friend and OG Foodie Sharisa, and found my new favorite restaurant…

Ping

Ping was named Rising Star Restaurant of the Year by the Oregonian’s Diner Guide.  I was excited about their Baby Octopus Skewer (marinated in lime, chiles, garlic, fish sauce, and cilantro).

Mostly I was enticed by the price – TWO BUCKAROOS for all you see above!  Loverly.

Our server was the cutest hapa girl, which Sharisa appreciated as she is a hapa herself.  She guided us to good cocktails and handled our frantic and impassioned ordering with style.

In addition to the octo-bebehs, we ordered a red potato skewer (salt roasted and grilled, served with spicy mayo sauce – $1!), a salapao (thai-style steamed bun stuffed with sweet shredded pork, fried shallots – $2.50!)…

deep-fried tiny fish ($2!), chinese tea egg (steeped in black tea, soy sauce, ginger, star anise, & cinnamon – $2!)…

…house-made pork meatball skewer (Thai-style, dipped in sweet chili sauce – $2.50!), house-made fish ball skewer (same), yam yai (Thai-style green salad with lettuce, boiled egg, peanuts, onions, prawns, chicken, bean sprouts, pickled garlic, scallions, cilantro, cucumber and tofu topped with a peanut dressing)…

And THESE.  Quail egg skewer (wrapped in bacon, with spicy mayo sauce).  Every neuron in my noggin was trilling with joy.  We ordered another as soon as the first hit our respective mouths.  Think smooth plus crunchy, shot through with spicy cream.  Not that I chewed to register the crunch.  I gulped them down cartoon-style – a delicious Adam’s apple!

We should have stopped there, but the fucking curiosity killed the cat (‘s palate).  We spied chicken butt - brined with fish sauce, garlic and sugar, grilled and served with sweet chili dipping sauce and ordered it.  Two thoughts, both related to R2, popped into my head.  (1) R2 told me that the a bird’s butt-al area is called its “vent” which is gross and reminiscent of wormy farts; and (2) no one loves a slanted rhyme more than R2, so I promptly texted him “What’s up?” and he texted back, just as promptly, “Chicken butt.”

Excellent.

Chicken butt is fucking disgusting.  Think of the gristliest bit of chicken that you’ve ever accidentally eaten, then shoot it through with sickly-yellow chicken fat, and then genetically hybridize it with  bouncy ball and that’s what you get.

Thinking about the chicken butt is bad.  Thinking about chicken butt while watching the episode of Man vs. Wild where he…well actually, any episode will do, but this one is the one where  he drinks his piss (which he has deposited into the skin of a rattlesnake) and then he’s eating skunk that he’s recently beheaded and describes it as “steak rubbed in dog feces…” anyway yes blogging chicken butt plus Man vs Wild is making me green about the gills.

Despite the chicken vent, I was so happy to be full-up with good food and hanging out with Sharisa again.  In fact, it was this very conference, six years ago, where Sharisa earned her nickname from our ESL Chinese friend who could not pronounce her real name and called her Sharisa (“Sharisa I have your wine!” she said about the vodka and champagne we had purchased to pregame – every kind of alcohol is called “wine” to her apparently) and called me “Janeee.”

My happiness was shot to berserk levels of happy when our server set down our check and we discovered her name was Charissa.  ”HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE YOUR NAME!!” we shrieked at her, and she said “Sharisa.”  More shrieking!  What a perfect end to the night.

Except it didn’t end!  Because we next rolled ourselves over to…

Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnut is a Portland mainstay.  The guy behind the counter was a burly, bearded, world-weary Portlandey dude who would periodically sigh “Can I get anyone anything.”  I had, natch, the bacon maple bar, which I thought I could handle being the sweet-savory queen.  No.

Others got the apple fritter, which was a triumph.  Crisp, light as air, and the size of a large frisbee.  Many grabby grabby hands tearing off shreds and nomming with gusto.

The next day we went to…

Navarre

Navarre also had glowing reviews, so we went.  I don’t know what to say about this place.  It does everything right (local, organic, la la la, small plates big plates etcetera).  Ambiance is cool, good wine list.  But none of the dishes sang.  Good, not great.  Not always due simply to underseasoning, per se, just…boring.

Save for this one dish, which was off-limits to cheese-hatin’ Sharisa.

Pardon the awfulness of the photo.  Did I even need to show it to you?  It’s basically a huge thing of fried cheese.  We manhandled this shit like there was no tomorrow.  Shattery, sticky cheese that squished out pleasing salty grease liquid, oh lord.

At more than twice the cost of Ping and with less than a tenth of the elation, NOT WORTH IT.

The following day I went for lunch with an old advisor to…

Veritable Quandary

VQ was a medium-schmancy joint where everyone from the conference ended up for lunch.  Sharisa showed up, too, with her advisor.  I could only take a couple quick pictures because I do NOT want any of my former advisors to know about this little blog overflowing with f-bombs.  Anyway, here it is:

Vegetarian biscuits and gravy with mushrooms and poached egg.  I am laughing to myself as I look at this photo, because I could not have (a) inhaled this faster; or (b) paid less attention to my advisor.  I hope I am still shiny in his eyes after this lunch.  I couldn’t help it!  The biscuit was perfectly crisp at the edges, and the yolk that yin-yanged into the extremely rich gravy was just so drop-dead fucking (see? f-bomb!) scrumptious. Lickety lickety.

Sharisa and I ditched the rest of the conference and went on a walk of Portland that moved me to exclaim, more than once, “This is like the fucking ODYSSEY!”

We started out walking along the river, where we happened on a huge fair.  Apparently this happens every week?  But it covered several blocks and I counted three different live bands!  Sharisa and I lamented that we were both full and couldn’t partake in any of the lovely fair food, fun stuff like bentos, gyros, curry!  Also, there was a cool artist who painted with numbers.  Not by numbers, but with numbers.  From far away it looks normal, but up close it’s like 1′s and 2′s and 3′s (well, you know what numbers are) that, like pointillism, from far away comprise a picture.  Pretty nerdy cool.

We kept walking and stumbled upon a city block that was crowded with loud people in wacky wacky costumes that walked that line between jolly and frightening.  A little too loud and drunk and homeless-looking.  Sharisa and I stood on the edge of the block, breathing hard and gathering courage to walk on.  We did, and encountered a guy dressed as the Last Supper (he was Jesus in the center with cutouts of the others, with a full-on table with bread and stuff on it slung around his neck.  Then a crusty looking guy ran up, grabbed a baguette from the table, and started wacking cardboard Judas with it, causing Jesus to get pissed and yell HEY HEY HEY HEY at increasingly menacing decibels.  Sharisa and I scampered right out of there.

Next, we passed Cupcake Jones.  Donuts are the new cupcakes and we had been there, done that, but we stopped nonetheless to pick up a baby cupcake each.  She: vanilla (flecked through with real vanilla bean and topped with a preshus edible pearl).  Me: red velvet (topped with a darling edible flower petal).

Blood sugar restored, we went to the world’s largest Anthropologie, which was a bit meaningless because I can never find anything that looks good on me there and Sharisa already owns all of it.  Next to Anthropologie was…

Powell’s City of Books

Goodness Gracious.  Truly a city.  I stepped in and I was shell-shocked.  I was on a hunt to find a used Edgar Rice Burroughs book for R2, who is collecting all the ones with Ace covers.

Usually he’s lucky if he can find any ERB books at a used bookstore.  Here, there was not only one book, not only one bookshelf, but three and a half bookshelves FULL of ERB books!  I breathed “Ohhhh he’s gonna die…” and whipped out my phone to call him and gloat.

I picked up two books to add to his collection, read through a Bon Appetit that said photographing one’s food was rude and should be outlawed (gulp!), texted Sharisa to find her, and left in search of a cocktail.

And I spied this thing!

EEEEEEEE!

Our final stop in Portland, recommended to me by a Portland native, was…

Clyde Common

The new home of noted mixologist Jeffrey Morgenthaler, we were excited to try some weird cocktails.  First we cooed at the impossibly cute dog outside, who looked like a pig and cow and puppy rolled into one.  No picture, sorry.  I suck at taking animal photos, remember?

We got one Copper Penny: Old Overholt rye, Clear Creek pear brandy, Punt e Mes, apricot, one B.M.O.C.: bourbon, raw ginger syrup, Angostura, soda water, one Tonga-Tonga: Smith and Cross Jamaican rum, lime, grapefruit, Trader, and one Beginning of the End: Boca Loca cachaca, lime, amaretto, egg whites, apple butter.  The latter was my favorite due to my intense love of egg whites which was further thickened with the apple butter – captivating!

And thus, we said goodbye to Portland in the best possible way – slightly-beyond-tipsy.

Pollan Documentary: Botany of Desire

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

It’s an awful title, isn’t it?  That was about the only drawback with the film (and book on which it is based).  Well, also it was a teeny bit boring.

Backtracking.  Choco, R2, U2, Peanut, Choco’s roommate who I will not give a pseudonym because I will likely never see her again and I went to the City Arts & Lectures screening last night of the PBS documentary Botany of Desire.  It’s made by Michael Schwarz and based on that inimitable demi-god of foodies Michael Pollan’s 2001 book of the same name.

We were situated in a box (swank!) with Depression-era style concrete-feeling chairs (derelict!) and settled in to watch the doc.  I have not read the book, but the film’s message seemed to be similar to Omnivore’s Dilemma (which I cannot finish for the life of me but maybe I’ll try again now) – that monocultures are bad and please everyone stop eating McDonald’s.

This was ironic because R2 and U2 were late to the movie because they were in the lobby finishing their McD’s.  They got it for good reason – the Star Wars Clone Wars toys are now out (and R2, indeed, proudly wore his eponymous toy on his belt loop the rest of the night).

An additional message of the film was that just as nature shapes us, we shape nature.  Our desire for beauty has made flower evolution go wild.  Same with apples – they are under selection pressure to get ever sweeter.  Even the cannabis plant, in response to human desire, have evolved to have more and more THC in them.

Other interesante things from the film:

Wowow wee wah.  Apples originated in Kazahkstan.

Johnny Appleseed was the original hipster.  Even though he was from a super wealthy family, he became in essence a homeless guy with unkempt hair who traveled around planting apple trees.  Also, it was curious that Johnny Appleseed created saplings from seeds, which when planted will have essentially zero similarity to the tree it came from.  The way to make a new tree with the old tree’s qualities (sweet apples, for example) is to use the technique of grafting, which was certainly available and known about back then.  But Johnny Appleseed was actually crazy religious, and believed that everything in nature was mirrored in heaven, so he thought grafting was unnatural and an affront to God.  So all these colonial towns (which, by the way, had to plant fruit trees BY LAW) had these crappy tasting apple trees thanks to him, which was OK because those were the apples that make the best alcoholic cider.

The best marijuana plants have resin in them, which is where the THC is concentrated.  The resin is created by female plants that put out more sticky stuff to catch the male plants’ pollen.  Growers, therefore, keep male plants out of their greenhouses and fill them with females only.  So, in essence, a growhouse is a 120 degree space chock full of “sexually frustrated” female plants.  Sux for them.

Why is it that protesters can only come up with the cheesiest chants?  I mean, “What do we want?” “______!”  ”When do we want it?”  ”NOW!” is already pretty bad.  In this film, in protest to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), they came up with “Hey hey.  Ho Ho.  We don’t want no GMOs!”  Awful.

In the section on tulips, the guy kept saying “chulips” which I thought was very cute.

After the screening, the man himself came out – Michael Pollan, IN THE FLESH!  He is one of those guys who is bald but still super handsome.  He has an non-defensive, exceedingly thoughtful, laid-back, and dryly funny persona.  Also you can tell he knows he’s the shit.  But he is, so.

Interesting things from the Q&A portion:

He started by asking Michael Schwarz why it took him ten years to make the film when he himself wrote the book in only two.  Ba-zing!  Schwarz said it was due to two reasons: (1) The marijuana section, which made all the potential funders uneasy, to the point where one of them suggested they focus on a different plant, like… grapes!  That’ll work, won’t it?  (2) No one knew who Michael Pollan was when the book came out so no one cared.  Boosh.

Curiously, though the filmmakers didn’t get an interview with Monsanto (the company who does the genetically modified plants), Pollan did in his book.  It turns out that Pollan had represented himself, in his words, “incompletely” to Monsanto and told them that he was a “garden writer.” lol.

Someone from the audience said “Thanks for this film.  I really enjoyed it, and it’s giving me motivation to actually finish the book.”  lol squared.  Didn’t I just get done telling you that I felt the same way, just about Omnivore’s Dilemma?

Did you know that almonds (another monoculture, also California’s #1 agricultural export?!) are such a huge industry that they have to ship in massive quantities of bees to pollinate the trees?  And that’s not enough so they feed the bees high fructose corn syrup before they release them to pollinate?  Crazay.

So it was a fun night that also made my brain grow.  On the way home, I asked R2 and U2 what they would write about if they were writing this post.  U2 said “the chairs.” I said, “…the chairs??” and U2 said, “They hurt my butt.”  To which R2 said “Buttony of Chairsire” and looked all proud of himself.  Sigh.

A Cook’s Tour – Anthony Bourdain

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Anyone who has read Kitchen Confidential (a book I recently recommended to RK who asked “What’s a book that anyone would like?”) falls in love with Anthony Bourdain – that cynical, drug-addled, rail-thin badass chef who is decidedly uncuddly yet still very much a teddy bear.

So I picked up another one of his books at Green Apple and dug in. It’s the perfect food book to read before bed, because oftentimes reading straight up food books at that hour precipitates grumbly stummies and an encore dinner.  A Cook’s Tour, however, is chock full of splendidly witty episodic descriptions, my favorite of which was not even about food (a common comment I get re: MTFB, by the way):

Chris has no particular reason to love me. I bullied him without mercy as a child, tried, in a fit of jealous rage, to bludgeon him to death as a infant (fortunately for us both, my chosen instrument was a balloon), blamed him constantly for crimes of which I was invariably the true perpetrator, then stood by and listened gleefully as he was spanked and interrogated.  He was forced to watch the endlessly unfolding psychodrama at the dinner table when I’d show up late, stoned, belligerent, a miserable, sullen, angry older brother with shoulder-length hair and a bad attitude, who thought Abbie Hoffman and Eldridge Cleaver had it about right – that my parents were fascist tools, instruments of the imperialist jackboot, that their love was what was holding me back from all those psychedelic drugs, free love, and hippie-chick pussy I should have been getting had I not been twelve years old and living at home. The fights, the screaming matches, the loud torments of my painful and pain-inducing early adolescence – he saw it all.  And it probably screwed him up good.  On the plus side, however, I had taught the little bastard to read by the time he was in kindergarten. And I did keep my mouth shut when he finally decided he’d had enough and coshed me over the head with a pig-iron window counterweight. (p. 30)

Maybe I resonated with this because I had a similar experience growing up with my own sibling, albeit a girlier and more AZN version.  And I don’t know who Abbie Hoffman is, nor Eldridge Cleaver.

The book takes you through his exploits as Food Network sends him around the world in search of the Perfect Meal.  It’s very meta.  You realize while vodka and ice baths in a Russian resort or hanging out in your childhood rustic French home or eating a still-beating cobra heart or a fuckin FREE meal at French Laundry all sound faboo, working a TV show is hard hard work. His favorite country by far, culinarily, seems to be Vietnam, which has firmly put that country on my must-go list.  Right below my MUST MUST GO place, which is wherever the nearest cobra is so I can end his life by nomming on his <3.

icanhascheezburger launch party

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Yes, above is Cheezburger himself, Mr. Ben Huh.  The icanhascheezburger megacorporation had a book launch in San Francisco to celebrate Fail Nation: A visual romp through epic fails, Graph Out Loud: Music. Movies. Graphs. Awesome., and the second ICHC book, How To Take Over Teh World: A lolcat guide 2 winning.  The last follows in the footsteps of the fucking NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING first book and contains my favorite lolcat:

YESSS.  I love me some lolcats.  To the point where, upon learning of this event tonight and not being able to get a single person to come with me, I went alone.  ALONE.  I picked up a beer and kinda awkwardly stood around, flipping through the books and tapping on my iPhone as if I was texting, “Where the eff are you?” even though I wasn’t waiting for anyone.  Eventually a kindly woman befriended me, but then pressed a flyer for her husband’s book in my hand and I realized her friendliness may have been just a ruse.  But the book sounds cool so here is the shoutout that I promised her: The book is Confessions of a Catnip Junkie, written from the view of a kitteh named Doo Doo Cat.  Can’t make this shit up, people.  Then a kindly duo befriended me for reals and we went to dinner (post forthcoming).

So when you buy all three of the books you get a plushie Happy Cat. Naturally, I got all three, got the cat, threw in an extra $10 to the SF-ASPCA for the iPod raffle (didn’t win), and got all three books signed.

I didn’t even need to open each book to see what the inscription said. But you probably do not share a brain with the ICHC folks like I do, so here they are:

I smiled at the first, bristled at the second, and beamed at the third.

I got home and g-talked Tinx all about my night, and she said “i dont think ive found a fave” in regards to lolcats.  NOT FOUND A FAVE?!?!? I can, without the slightest effort, list my Top 5.  Here they are, in order (remember #1 is above [tiny trust]) :

Anyway, do you remember my New Year’s Resolution? Pertaining to cats?  Yeah, I kinda failed on that.

Service Included [not of the sexual type]

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Of the four food books I’m currently in the middle of (this one, Omnivore’s Dilemma, Art of Eating, and Best Food Writing 2008), Service Included by Phoebe Damrosch is by far (a) the most beach-friendly, (b) finishable in any way, and (c) raunchy.

Take, for instance, this choice quote (found on page 179):

“My friend has just told me the most incredible thing. Don’t be shocked.”

I brace myself.

“Apparently the new thing is to shit in a condom, freeze it, and use it as a dildo!”

Hmmm.  Perhaps I spoke too soon with the “[not of the sexual type]” subheading…

But seriously, NO, this is not mediation on the kink industry, nor is the writing in any way, shape, or form, uncouth or uncivilized.  It is an exposé of sorts of the world of service “captains” in THE Thomas Keller’s New York restaurant, Per Se.  It covers Phoebe Damrosch’s journey from waitress in a crappy restaurant to the only female captain at Per Se.  It’s a riveting little book that lets you see how fucking crazy-genius TK (as they call him) and his obsession with food and service is.

Seriously, this book is great fun, and it took me about three hours to get through it – easy breezy writing and a definite must read for foodies.

Other interesting notables (but not so many that you won’t enjoy reading it):

-A description of the astonishing MONTH of training before she hit the floor…

-…which included an eighteenth-century dance lesson. [a hilarious recounting]

-Phoebe’s adventures as the “other woman” in a hott Per Se incestuous romance

-Did I already mention the shit dildo?

Click here to buy it on Amazon.

While you’re at Amazon, why not use these coupon codes from probargainhunter?

The Best Burger in North America

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Hi! I just got back from a super fun week in Chicago that ended in fucktardedness when rain (yes, rain) canceled my flight (and a gazillion others’) and I was stuck in O’Hare for 9 hours, and didn’t get home until 2 am.

ANYWAY, for reasons that will become clear in nine paragraphs, a MUST EAT stop was Sweets & Savories.

Let’s get some boring stuff out of the way. Namely, our apps. Keller’s app was a beautiful gnocchi with escar–

–wait, let me backtrack more. First of all, their website is weird. It has an interface reminiscent of when you call that dude that helps you with maps and shit in Metal Gear. But it’s cool. When we actually got there, we thought we had the wrong place. I refused to get out of the cab until I called them:

Me: Ummmm…where are you located again?
Them: 1534 Fullerton.
Me: Yeah but like, what’s near you?
Them: Our cross street is Ashland.
Me: I mean, what is like, exactly next door to you?
Them: An empty lot.
Me: And then an…insurance? Company? On your other side?
Them: Yes.

So the immediate neighborhood seemed kind of sketch, and there was NO ONE in the restaurant (economy? Tuesday night?) but it was the cutest space. The menu was one of those where EVERYTHING looked so fucking fabulous. My heart, though, beat for only one item – the foie gras burger.

This will go down as the easiest post to write of all time, because it’s been written for me beautifully yet hilariously by Peter Sagal, most famous for being the host of NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me in the Best Food Writing 2008 (a gift from Christopher), writing (originally in Saveur) about Chicago’s foie gras ban.

“This is the silliest ordinance the City Council has ever passed,” said Mayor Richard M. Daley.”

“What about my hamburger?” said my wife, Beth, who just wanted her hamburger.

Specifically: the $17 hamburger at Sweets & Savories, on Fullerton Avenue, which the menu describes as “Strube Ranch American Kobe beef with foie gras pate and truffled mayonnaise and toasted brioche roll” and which, when served with a side of duck-fat fries, is the kind of meal God would cook for houseguests if God were a 12-year-old kid.

Seventeen dollars is a lot to pay for hamburger, especially one that does not come with a toy in the bag, but a couple things you should know are, first, that it is enormous, the size you remember your first Big Mac’s being when you finally convinced your parents that you were old enough to graduate from McNuggets, and, second, that the heat from the beef melts the pate, just a little bit, so it seems to absorb the truffle mayo above it and then ineluctably swirls into both the beef and the bread, infecting them with glory, the way Agent Smith converted everybody into himself in those awful Matrix sequels. The result inspires guttural grunts of pleasure as you realize you must put the burger down, because if you don’t, it will fall apart, but instead you take another bite mmmph mmmph mmmph.

So. Back to boring stuff like Keller’s gnocchi with escargot, market mushrooms, arugula, and pecorino. Um, that was sarcasm. I have re-read that bit a number of times and can’t tell if it comes across correctly sarcastic. The gnocchi was not boring. It was…garlicky, smooth, sticky, and the escargot sent a shiver down my spine, half because it was so rich and pleasingly chewy, half because I was like, “can I taste snail eyeball right now? I think I taste snail eyeball.”

My soup: roasted sweet potato bisque with crème fraiche mousseline and crispy sage. For a eight years of my life I spent summers with a foodie family, the dad of which would pick sage leaves from the garden out back, crispy-fry them in good olive oil, and then sprinkle them with kosher salt. We would eat these like potato chips. Glorious. So that was my favorite part of this soup. The soup was good, though something you might get easily at other restaurants aside from the sage.

To keep a finger food vibe, we got Croque Madame for our other entree (smoked ham, gruyere, béchamel, fried farm egg, and grain mustard). Whatever vitamin is in egg yolk (I think it’s called…cholesterol? Yeah.), I think I was craving it. I wanted yolk, and I got it, basically everywhere. Messatron Max.

BUT NOT AS MESSY AS MY FOIE BURGER!

“Mmmph” is exactly the noise that came out of me as I shoved it down my gullet. Our server came over, saw me, and said, “How is every — actually, I’ll just come back later.”

I don’t need to describe the burger, as it has already been done exquisitely by Sagal above. The only difference is that our fries were fried in beef tallow, not duck fat. Oh no! (Sarcasm again – I was just as excited.)

OH SHIT! I forgot to mention that we did the prix fixe menu – app, entree, and dessert for $36. I always worry about prix fixe because I never want dessert, so in the end it always never seems worth it. So I asked, at the beginning, for the dessert menu to confirm that there was anything I wanted.

Oh, there was something I wanted alright.

I wanted the Meyer lemon curd tart with blueberry compote and soft cream. Super tart.

Oh, and this -

Warm Belgium chocolate fondant cake with cocoa sorbet and chocolate ganache sauce. I was awfully tempted by other items with cool ice creams (white pepper ice cream, brown butter ice cream) but Keller is a chocolate fiend so…

So, the main star of the night was, clearly, the burger. I didn’t even wipe my hands on my napkin before pawing at my iPhone to tell everyone about the burger I just had.

…There should be a word for an obnoxious foodie. An obnoxfoo?

Sweets & Savories
1534 W Fullerton
Chicago, IL
773.281.6778

Stiff: Corpses make me LOL

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

For my birthday I asked for unlimited access to Sharisa’s library of good books. I think that was a good choice. Her latest offering to me was Stiff by Mary Roach. I’m a little late to the game I think, since this book won all sorts of awards in 2003.

As I enthusiastically gushed to horrified eminent psychologists at the conference dinner table, this book is about cadavers ((I am scared about the consequences of writing “corpse” and “cadaver” over and over again for the Google Ads.)) and the various uses and abuses of corpses across the centuries. It’s fucking fascinating and more than that, it’s hilarious. Read, for example, the following excerpt, in which Roach visits a facility where they study the process by which corpses rot. Roach, the scientist Dr. Arpad and the squeamish PR guy Ron are visiting a corpse in the “bloat” stage, and is commenting on the nature of the maggots covering the corpse’s face and groin: ((If you are here at ConsumerMachine to get a usual dose of yummy food reviews, you may want to come back at a time when you are looking to not get nauseous.))

“The larvae are two weeks older than their peers down the hill and much larger. Where before they had been grains of rice, here they are cooked rice. They live like rice, too, pressed together: a moist, solid entity. If you lower your head to within a foot or two of an infested corpse (and this I truly don’t recommend), you can hear them feeding. Arpad pinpoints the sound: “Rice Krispies.” Ron frowns. Ron used to like Rice Krispies.” ((Roach, 2003, pg. 61-62.))

Other than this loverly topic, Roach covers other fascinating uses of cadavers such as using their heads for nosejob training, as crash-test “dummies,” for testing shoes for landmine protection, for testing theories of crucifixion, and as elixirs for bruises.

Relevant to this blog, corpses have also been eaten as food. Apparently it is quite delicious AND the nutritional value has already been worked out! It might taste like chicken, but humans are nutritionally equivalent to veal. Once I actually eat some, I’ll be sure to post it here.

I know you’re intrigued. Order it here.