Sunday, March 16, 2008

All In A Name

We could hardly wait for the patrons of the opera to take their seats and for the doors of the patron's private lounge to close so we could attack the hors d'oeuvres. There had been few rich folk that night so there was plenty to choose from.

"Someone try the Salmon Cheesecake", pleaded Kevin, "no one got any".

"Sure, I'm game", as I stepped in to grab a slice.

I'll try anything once, even with a silly name. That is how I got so dang fat(not as much as I used to be) and became diabetic. That is also why I love almost every food on the planet and would not go hungry anywhere. Chocolate, soft cooked eggs and hard boiled eggs, peanut butter, most jelly except orange marmalade, sea urchin and squid guts are about the only things on the list that I have tried and usually avoid.

Alfred Hitchcock once served a buffet where all the food was blue either naturally or dyed, just for the shock value. I am sure blue mashed potatoes and blue dinner rolls were not as popular as any natural colored. Desperate to be creative, chefs are playing with colors, presentations and names of food left and right. It is all in the name of marketing, you know. But salmon cheesecake? Conjures up images of a deranged cook adding a can of salmon to cheese cake batter and topping it with whipped cream or chocolate. Are liver pancakes next?

The salmon cheesecake was quite good actually and it is fair to say no one ate it because of what the chef called it. My favorite bar/bistro used to serve an asparagus flan, another use of a dessert term for a non dessert dish. It was a fluffy light asparagus souffle, topped with wild mushrooms. It was wonderful, but many customers missed its delights, turned off by the silly name. Call it asparagus souffle or something like that. Same thing happened in a wonderful Chinese restaurant that featured "Shrimp with Fungus" as as special. Wonderful sauteed shrimp with musky, woody, aromatic cloud ear mushrooms. "They are not mushrooms actually", the owner said, "they are tree fungus." Sometimes, it is good to ignore the truth.

Chefs... please, enough with the fish cheesecakes, coulis of this and that(coulis is nothing more than French for puree), vegetable desserts and goofy shit combinations. I'll eat it, but you'll go broke waiting for me to show up.

I am dying, however, to try squid ink sorbet.


Anonymous said...

Do you ever watch the Iron Chef?

It's very cretaive, and some of the dishes sound heavenly. But watch out when they break out the ice cream maker - it genreally turns out to be something horrendous sounding, like fish ice cream!

Don said...

That is where I saw the squid ink sorbet. Sounds....interesting!

Anonymous said...

Squid is delicious, so maybe the ink is too. The sorbet, I'm not so sure about!

Still, I'd like to be a judge on that show!