Theater of the Absurd

After surfing the net in an incredibly random way, I found out that the best restaurant in the world at this very moment is Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Here are some specialties on the menu:

Salsify and milk skin
Truffle from Gotland
Langoustine and seawater
Parsley and rye
Chestnuts and bleak roe
Walnuts and cress shoots
Musk ox and smoked marrow (The musk oxis an Arctic mammal, noted for its thick coat and for the strong odor emitted by the males – boy that makes me hungry!)
Pike perch and unripe elderberries (yes, unripe)
Cabbage stem and watercress
“Øllebrød” and frothed milk (I always have my Øllebrød sans frothed milk)
Skyr and toasted rye kernels (Skyr is an Icelandic cultured dairy product)
The snowman from Jukkasjärvi (a cousin of Yeti perhaps?)
Cloudberries and wild thyme

Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in Napa is now number 32 on the hit parade of restaurants. By the way, Thomas Keller is the reason why I always have an abundance of Acid Reducing tablets at all times in my purse.

On this list of the top 50 restuarants in the world, the USA is number 7 on the list, with a restaurant called Alinea in Chicago, Illinois.

The website includes many frighteningly clear photos of Bacon dangling from tabletop trapeze contraptions (see above photo) or lamb on skewers encased in some sort of savory cotton candy or jellied oxalis on an absurd phallic pedestal.  How does one nagivate through this highly styled repast?  I am not sure what sort of utensils one is offered.  Chop sticks seem like they might be useful while eating the dangling bacon.

I would like to point out that the menus from Noma and Alinea both include Salsify.  I thought it might be some sort of fish.  It turns out, I am incorrect it’s a vegetable.  I guess I am really out of the loop.

The vegetable called salsify is usually the root of purple salsify, the root is described as having the taste of oysters, but more insipid with a touch of sweetness. The young shoots of purple salsify can also be eaten, as well as the young leaves.

I appreciate the creativity and intense urge to use obscure ingredients, but the bizarre Dali-esque plating that seems to be gaining in popularity, needs to take a step back and re-examine the point of a sane person’s dining experience.  I’m not sure Fear Factor should come up in one’s mind before a meal.

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One thought on “Theater of the Absurd

  1. Salsify is actually quite delicious. And does NOT taste like oysters, insipid or otherwise. But I think I’ll have mine sans milk skin, please.

    And “eating the dangling bacon” sounds like a fabulous euphemism, perhaps akin to “hiking the Appalachian trail,” no?

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