I was watching Iron Chef America the other day and was reminded once again why molecular gastronomy and I just don’t get along. While the results are frequently beautiful, it just doesn’t appeal me to me.
I’m sure that pizza pebbles are delicious, you can’t convince me that they would taste better than a piece of pizza.
And that really the crux of my problem with the whole idea. Expending all the effort that it takes to make something that tastes like something else just seems wasteful to me. I love the experience of eating, I just don’t want to be tricked. The Iron Chef dish that kicked this whole thing off was really neat, but in the end the artfully crafted egg made of sunchoke puree with a real egg yolk in the middle was all about flash and the flavor could have been accomplished but just serving a poached egg with sunchoke puree. It didn’t have to be painted gold either. The somewhat infamous Cuban sandwich cigar from Top Chef was another prime example. Sure it was a fun idea but a Cuban sandwich is about the relationships of the textures and the ingredients that, without the whole package, don’t add up.
The crazy miracle berry that makes sour things taste sweet seem like more of a joke you would play on your friends than something I want to experience with my food. Being able to chug vinegar like a milkshake is just not a feature that makes me want to jump out and try it. Paying someone to wreck my sense of taste for an hour seems counter productive as well.
It is pretty safe to say that I am an adventurous eater so i’m not turned off by the strangeness of these foods. I just don’t get the appeal of arugula spaghetti. No matter what, one of the elements of a dish like that are going to be a let down in flavor or texture or both.
Perhaps I’m just a cranky old man but for me a sandwich is a sandwich and cigar should just be a cigar.