Category Archives: Humour

Two videos: Mitchell & Webb on Vegetarianism and a song about health foods

Wasabi Smoke Alarm

Wasabi Smoke Alarm

Instead of an ear-piercing wail, the device unleashes the chemical compound allyl isothiocyanate, which gives horseradish, mustard, and wasabi their bite. A red LED on the alarm also starts flashing when smoke is detected.
In tests on sleeping people with normal or no hearing, the device woke nearly all subjects up within two and a half minutes after the stench hit their nostrils. Further tests determined the ideal intensity of airborne wasabi to wake people up but not hurt their eyes in the process.

From CNet News, I knew there was a use for this stuff.

Gordon Ramsay, Ricky Gervais, African Cats and Nescafe

An Unlikely Way to Save a Species: Serve It for Dinner

The headline is slightly misleading in that the eater approach to conservation works better for plants than for small animal populations but overall worth considering. Strange to think that if left alone, many of these species will die out. Of course, on an existential note, what does it mean to be, only because you are edible.

Gordon Ramsay and James May eating bull’s penis and rotting shark and then cooking…

And now Gordon Ramsay and Ricky Gervais

And from DetectivesBeyondBorders a coffee discussion:

From Timothy Hallinan’s Thailand-set novel A Nail Through the Heart

“Twenty or so years ago, in one of the first invasions by a Western brand name, Nescafé shouldered aside the much more labor-intensive processes by which the Thais made some of the world’s best coffee, replacing taste with convenience.”
“But Rose [who is Thai] grew up with Nescafé. She adores it, hot, tepid or iced. He has seen her eat a teaspoon of it, dry. … [Rafferty] takes a sip, rolls it around in his mouth like red wine, and revises his opinion. It’s an interesting drink if you don’t insist that it’s coffee.”

I suppose that might work..I do remember when down in Mexico and then later in other coffee growing lands being puzzled about the ubiquity of Nescafe.

African Food – Mystery Meals

This wonderful little gem from someone who is not entirely up on the current (or is it just North American) slang.

Cats and Dogs – One man’s pet is another man’s meal. Ghana’s Volta Region is the place to eat pussy (tastes like chicken) In Nigeria dog meat which is roasted like beef is also belived to improve your sex life.

And back to coffee

Bargains found at Edible.com

WEASEL COFFEE

UNIQUE VIETNAMESE COFFEE
EATEN and REGURGITATED BY A WEASEL
RICH CHOCOLATEY FLAVOUR!

This coffee is first eaten by Weasels which then regurgitate it, no one knows why they do this but it is then collected by locals in remote forest areas and then cleaned and roasted.

It has a unique rich chocolatey flavour and is best served as an espresso with a dash of condensed milk, just as they do in Vietnam.

CIVET COFFEE

THE RAREST COFFEE IN EXISTENCE
UNIQUE DELICATE FLAVOUR AFTER FERMENTATION IN THE CIVET’S DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
ONLY 500 KG’S OF THIS COFFEE ARE FOUND EACH YEAR

This is the rarest and definately most extraordinary coffee in the world! This coffee has been selected for us by Paradoxurus Hermaphroditis. Better know as the Common Palm Civet Cat. It prowls the Sumatran coffee plantations at night, choosing to eat only the finest, ripest cherries. The stones (which eventually form coffee beans) are then collected by cleaning through the droppings by the natives who collect it.

Kopi Luwak as it is known, is considered to be the world’s finest coffee by Native Sumatrans. This coffee has an Intense but delicate flavour and no aftertaste, which is unique in coffee. This flavour is due to the fact that the coffee has been partially fermented by passing through the system of the Civet. Only about 500 KG’s of this coffee are found each year.

But seriously, the coffee in this town’s restaurants…

Not long ago I was out at the Red Ox and though the meal was not great, parts of it were quite good but what was rather annoying was that the coffee after was of the quality one would expect while waiting to have your muffler changed. And perhaps what was most irritating about the experience was how common it was. The same thing happened a few months ago at the Hardware Grill as well.

Why is this even possible? Do chefs and eatery owners not realize that the last impression does in fact last. Brown swill will discolour the most remarkable dinner for me.

One would expect that with the amount of effort that is taken to pair not only parts of the repast, but the wine with the food, that some notice would be taken of the coffee. Its really quite strange. Theories anyone?

They’re Made Out of Meat by Terry Bisson

Its not the best thing ever but for some reason I find this story by Terry Bisson amusing. And it has absolutely no relation to my meditation on burgers. It comes via www.electricstory.com which for speculative fiction fans is worth becoming part of. Its free to sign up and one of the benefits is movie reviews by Lucius Shepard.

They’re Made Out of Meat

by Terry Bisson

“They’re made out of meat.”

“Meat?”

“Meat. They’re made out of meat.”

“Meat?”

“There’s no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They’re completely meat.”

“That’s impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?”

“They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don’t come from them. The signals come from machines.”

“So who made the machines? That’s who we want to contact.”

They made the machines. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. Meat made the machines.”

“That’s ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You’re asking me to believe in sentient meat.”

“I’m not asking you, I’m telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they’re made out of meat.”

“Maybe they’re like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage.”

“Nope. They’re born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn’t take long. Do you have any idea what’s the life span of meat?”

“Spare me. Okay, maybe they’re only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside.”

“Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They’re meat all the way through.”

“No brain?”

“Oh, there’s a brain all right. It’s just that the brain is made out of meat! That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.”

“So . . . what does the thinking?”

“You’re not understanding, are you? You’re refusing to deal with what I’m telling you. The brain does the thinking. The meat.”

“Thinking meat! You’re asking me to believe in thinking meat!”

“Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you beginning to get the picture or do I have to start all over?”

“Omigod. You’re serious then. They’re made out of meat.”

“Thank you. Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they’ve been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years.”

“Omigod. So what does this meat have in mind?”

“First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, swap ideas and information. The usual.”

“We’re supposed to talk to meat.”

“That’s the idea. That’s the message they’re sending out by radio. ‘Hello. Anyone out there? Anybody home?’ That sort of thing.”

“They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?”

“Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat.”

“I thought you just told me they used radio.”

“They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat.”

“Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?”

“Officially or unofficially?”

“Both.”

“Officially, we are required to contact, welcome, and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear, or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing.”

“I was hoping you would say that.”

“It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?”

“I agree one hundred percent. What’s there to say? ‘Hello, meat. How’s it going?’ But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?”

“Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can’t live on them. And being meat, they can only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact.”

“So we just pretend there’s no one home in the Universe.”

“That’s it.”

“Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You’re sure they won’t remember?”

“They’ll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we’re just a dream to them.”

“A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat’s dream.”

“And we marked the entire sector unoccupied.”

“Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?”

“Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen-core cluster intelligence in a class-nine star in G445 zone was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again.”

“They always come around.”

“And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone . . . “

Burgers of Distinction

People often ask me why with all the things I write about, why the avoidance of burgers, those pulchitrudinous patties, those savory pockets, those towers of oozing goodness, those hamburgers. Hold onto your napkins, here we go with a few outstanding items.

1. The Butter Burger

The first burger of renown is from Serious Eats, where you can watch an entertaining little video showing the making of the Butter Burger (it doesn’t embed properly so follow this link and enjoy).

2. The Bacon Burger

And this heartstopper of a meal from Peppers and Smoke:



Our goal today – one pound of bacon, stuffed with cheese, deep-fried, topped with more cheese.


I cranked up the meat grinder and ground the bacon twice, once with the coarse plate and a second time through the fine plate.


I made a hollow in the patty and filled it with the mozzarella. I sealed a second patty over this and kneaded the edges together.


I mixed up a beer batter and coated the entire patty. The final layer wasn’t as thick as it looks here.


Into the oil it goes!


Almost done. It was hard to get it to cook correctly. The patty was almost an inch thick and I didn’t want to burn the outer parts.


Served with a cold Shiner Bock and a side of deep-fried jalapenos.


It was pretty good, but not as good as the original 100% Bacon Burger. I think using a smaller patty and cooking it on the grill would have been better. Perhaps that will be Bacon Burger 3.0…


3. Ordering in the Court

Next we have a frivolous but actual lawsuit from Lowering the Bar where a group sued a number of restaurants including McDonald’s and Burger King because they had not informed their customers that they cooked their meat. This relates to the infamous Proposition 65 in California law which requires transparency (informing and labelling) if your product involves exposures to potentially harmful chemicals, and yes, cooking meat will produce some of those chemicals.

4. The Final Burger

For the piece de resistance, I am reanimating a dead post from a blog called The Idiot Behind the Iron Mask. We can only hope that we too will someday be lucky enough to have a similar adventure.

The Burger Of Death

They say, or rather, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism says, that Malaysians are a generous and hospitable bunch. Hospitable, maybe, but I’d rather call us hospitalising. Yes, hospitalising.

The Burger of Death

We are generous with foods that could hospitalise people who consume them.

For instance, just a while ago. I was at Great Eastern Mall, having dinner with a good old friend. Right after the meal, sensing insatiation, he suggested that we go to this lovely burger stall somewhere in Ampang. “OK,” I said. So we drove there.

And that was when I saw The Burger-Man Of Death.

The Burger-Man, And His Burgers, Of Death

We observed how he made his burgers.

First, he threw a bucketload of butter or margarine or some equally sticky substance onto the frying pan. And then some more.

We had an ayam special (literally: ‘special chicken’) ordered for each one of us, so the mamak tossed frosted chicken burgers into the oil.

Then, once the burger was half-fried, he threw in another bucketload of margarine. No, I’m not kidding. The whole burger meat was really fried in that much oil. Some cheese was thrown onto the layers of the burger, and some droplets of sauce.

The sticky, icky burger, finally fried, was then removed from the oily pool it was previously submerged in, and placed straight inbetween two separate pieces of bread. Here’s the cool part: he actually added some butter. (As if there wasn’t enough already.) Then, some chilli sauce, some soy sauce, a bit of mayonnaise, and voila! A completed Burger Of Death.

Sinking My Teeth In

The burger is the slimiest, greasiest, oiliest burger I’ve ever tasted in my life.

Of course it tastes good. Of course I’ve never tasted anything like it before.

But the more bites I took, the worse I felt. I could feel the oil in my throat; the thickness of it. Pure, unadulterated cholestrol. And my mind could never undo the fact that The Burger of Death is the equivalent of a heart-attack. (Hence, the name.)

“The human limit for eating this burger is probably 2. Eating three probably means instant death,” my friend says.

Not that I disagree.

Food related…

Its been a while since I’ve posted about food or things related.

Sound-Enhanced Food (link)

Irena Chalmers has a great writeup of an event she attended where Heston Blumenthal of London’s famed Fat Duck was discussing his serving sonics with his food.

“Eating is a multisensory experience,” he says. And by George he’s right. He says his cooking is all about contrasts of texture and flavor. It’s based on knowledge: knowledge of anatomy and physiology and psychology and magic. In the brain the centers for taste and memory are anatomically very close together. He knows that. He also knows our own personal taboos and prejudices have a profound influence on our food preferences. So he creates a seafood composition in a shadow box, (a kind of deep picture frame). In went a base of sand (tapioca), and on it he carefully places three kinds of seaweed, an oyster, a razor clam, a sea urchin and a coverlet of ethereal white frothy foam. There’s a garnish of artfully arranged crystallized and fried anchovies. O.K. sounds good?

Sound is the operative word. To experience the full impact, enter the magician. The diner wears a couple of seashell microphone headphones. While savoring every tiny morsel, the conscious mind is enveloped with cries of seagulls and experiencing the sounds of waves crashing on the beach. Incredible! Transported to the seashore, the fish leaps from the icy waters, leaving a faint briny taste hovering on the lips.

What’s fascinating about this is an experiment in which the same seafood dish was accompanied, not with the sounds of the ocean, but with the grunting of pigs and the cackling of chickens. Not surprisingly everyone hated the food. Some even spat it out. (But the same folk loved the bacon and egg ice cream with the farmyard symphony resonating in their heads!)

Say Cheese Jacket! (link)

From the interesting to the gross, though worse is yet to come. Cosimo Cavallaro‘s site has some more unappetizing food art mixes on his site (like the Ham Bed) and an amusing Chocolate Jesus (any relation to Tom Waits?). Great song even if unrelated.

Japanese Insect Foods (link)

Wasps, specifically the type known as Digger Wasps, are baked into crackers – stingers and all – in the Japanese city of Omachi. The crispy critters are prepared and promoted by the Omachi digger wasp lovers club.

McDonalds Japan Goes No-Brand with Quarter Pounder Shops (link)

If you made me choose between a McQuarter Pounder and a Wasp Cracker I might just pick the cracker. However this is interesting, and once again kudos to InventorSpot for finding this, the store fronts and the packaging have no identifying markings, no overt branding. Now that might make them taste just a little less awful to me.

Top 10 Unusual Food Combinations (link)

Now this is a useful list of possibilities from pepper on chocolates to cooking some of the stems with the tomatoes to add flavour. Very cool.

Human form sushi plating (link)

Bodylicious X is Barcelona’s Design Code‘s new line of forms based on the occasional Japanese practice of serving sushi on nubile naked bodies. (Image courtesy of DavidReportBlog).

Russian Urine Exported to America: New, Improved Product? (Link)

Not exactly food related but let’s say comestible for some. Apparently this product is guaranteed to
be 100% Russian urine and comes in a number of flavours including Sea Breeze,Hunter’s brew, Not Filtered, and Original. They tout is as coming from the “life giving part of the human body”.

I envision a late night vodka session in a bare bones kitchen, with one of the bleary giving forth about how some people believe in the curative powers of inbibing urine and the light bulbs going off…Talk about a profit margin. And its not as though you have to go out and hire someone; the ultimate home business. Unless you are dying on a life raft lost at sea, piss drinking is not a logical or sane option for anyone who has any other liquid at hand, and what the Russians have neglected to mention is that the people who drink urine for health reasons, drink their own.

Scam artists and morons; a match made in heaven.