Tuesday, January 07, 2014

lucky peach does the apocalypse

homemade spam. a high end dinner (with appetizer prepared by noma's own rené redzepi) at the end of the mayan calendar. a comic (as in drawn like a comic book) version of the food future by anthony bourdain (hint: it isn't pretty). a review of chef boyardee canned ravioli. these are the things you can read about in the winter 2013 issue of lucky peach.

i was ordering the nordic version of the wonderful ticket to ride board game and threw this into my amazon shopping cart on a whim. i'm not even sure how it ended up there among my recommendations, but there it was and now here it is.

the magazine is the brainchild of new york chef david chang (he of momofuku fame) and it's full from cover to cover of brainy, intellectual, tongue-in-cheek and occasionally high-end thoughts on the state of food in the world. there's a recipe for pollution by massimo bottura that calls for cuttlefish, calamari (tentacles only), clams, sea urchin tongues and monkfish liver and which requires a thermomix, vacuum sealer and immersion circulator if you want to make it correctly. (and this is starting to sound like a review, but i assure you, it's all my own doing, the momofuku people don't even know i exist.)

what with the theme being apocalypse, it is a rather bleak future they paint, and they're frankly not that optimistic about the present either (see the aforementioned tony bourdain comic). there's an interesting piece on today's food, tomorrow's mold. i might have to compare some of the photos to those things in the back of my fridge so i can identify what they might have been.

i may have found a lead as to what happened to my christmas turkey in a piece wherein they asked swedish chef magnus nilsson to strip a chicken of all its flesh and skin and put pork in its place (they dub it the frankenbird). i'll admit a new respect for the butcher in vejle if lucky peach is where they got the idea.

there's a whole spread devoted to recipes from the zombie diner and how to eat once the zombie apocalypse comes. we'll be dining on brain-crusted rack of lamb (they're not kidding, the recipe calls for veal brains) and pickled red beet eggs (they're apparently all the rage in pennsylvania, or they were back in the 70s and jars of them still languish on bar shelves).

probably my favorite feature is called foraging with dummies. they sent some totally uninitiated city folks out to gather plants in various regions and guess whether they were edible. then they had actual experts from that area assess the damage. it seems that if we really have to start foraging for ourselves, we're not going to last long. they chose not only poisonous, but inedible and non-nutritious plants and even a coral snake (not good). the regions were florida, oregon, minnesota and texas, so a good sampling all around. very interesting.

in all, i will be ordering more issues of lucky peach. it's about food. it made me think. it made me laugh. it even turned my stomach a couple of times. it is provocative and smart and we need more of that in the world.

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