The bedlamite chef.

Acorns from Sears Island, ME.

Acorns.

They’re vile. And I say vile because when I think about the first time I ever tried one the pressure points behind my ears tingle, and I can feel my mouth begin to salivate with exponential urgency.

This leads a mind like mine to the word bile: the thing that I’m actually about to taste as I continue to linger on the thought of that first taste of an acorn.

I think most animal’s (humans included) next step would be to steer clear of that taste. It’s not that they’re unwilling to keep an open-mind and return at a later stage in life: studies indicate that the human palate shifts every 6-7 years. It’s rather that we aren’t set up to immediately think that far in advance, so we attach a negative thought to that object.

The incessant pursuit of finding the “best” product has left a lot of cooks not doing what I think they ought to do. Cook.

Yes, there is a difference between Blis’ trout roe and Whole Food’s non-popping, overly salted egg. But, what about that farm, the one just down yonder, that’s turning out incredibly tasteful beef? You know the farm. I know you do.  Your boss says is too tough, instead he would like you to fly in Snake River Farm’s cuts from Idaho. You agree. All the while, you know inside that it’s wrong.

We all have access to modern equipment, books on shelf, books on tape, books on ipad, blogs, mentors, students, history, personal experience—fucking whatever. So why aren’t we using it to make these things that, by popular opinion don’t taste that great, taste better?

Are you annoyed with my train of thought?

…and the acorns. Oh, the acorns. I could write a hymn about the tannic oak galls that filter the tree. They’re the offal of the woods: the kidneys of the trees. And I say we use them as an example of what we can achieve through challenge.

It took me numerous failed executions to finally figure them out— bitter purées, inedible sauces, pasty flours. I couldn’t seem to figure out how to combat the extremely bitter taste.

Then I came across Corey Lee’s acorn and cherry soup. I first thought to myself that balancing an acorn with a cherry made little-to-no sense. But, it’s Corey Lee. It has to be delicious. So I tried again.

There was no recipe, just a picture of the most beautiful maroon colored, silky soup with a single ribbon of celery. After adjustments including fat, port, and glucose, I found what I knew was always there. Something worth contriving.

“Acorns were good until bread was found.” Francis Bacon

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