Sunday, 30 January 2011

Recipes for success

In case you hadn't noticed, there's an obesity epidemic that's threatening to wipe out great swathes of the population with one sweep of its giant bingo wing. By 2015, most crematoriums will be out of business - they'll just burn the house down around us, like Gilbert Grape's mother.

But help is at hand, with countless TV experts willing to convince us that a tea-cup of celery broth is just as delicious as a quarter-pounder dipped in Krispy Kreme frosting. Sadly, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, not to mention littered with discarded KFC boxes.

It's going to take more than '101 things to do with watercress' for the world to look good in a pair of jeggings. Healthy eating and a balanced diet takes education, culture change and money.

How else would you explain the inexplicably idiotic Food Network website? An online archive of favourite recipes from America's most popular cooking celebrities, the site boasts some staggeringly idiotic suggestions. 

Fancy a late night snack? How about 'Microwave Bacon' from Rachael Ray, which involves bacon, kitchen towel and a microwave. Or maybe you're looking for a delicious side dish, in which case you can try Paula Deen's complex recipe for English Peas - simply add butter to tinned peas in a pan. I'm not sure how that qualifies as 'English', but then Paula is a law unto herself, having famously found a way to deep fry a cheesecake

The latest addition to the Food Network is 'Dark Chocolate As A Snack'. It's a tricky one, this - eat dark chocolate. As a snack. Demonstrating an artful economy of words, Ellie Krieger's contribution is a recipe, serving suggestion and meal title in just five words. 

At the opposite end of the foodie spectrum is Le Whaf - essentially a high-priced alternative to having Michael Winner belch in your face after a good dinner. Rather than eating the food, you're invited to stick your head over a giant goldfish bowl and inhale the delicious vapours. 

Lemon tart, tomato soup, whisky - according to Professor David Edwards, who invented the concept, pretty much any comestible can be turned into mouth-watering smoke. The way he sees it, we could soon find ourselves enjoying a meal by walking around a restaurant, "Instead of eating food, you’re breathing it in as you walk from room to room, each with a different flavour. Celery in one. Steak in another. Then pate." But how do you disassociate yourself from the process when you pay a visit to the bathroom? 

Given that foods need to be specially prepared and liquidised in order to be whaffable, it's safe to assume that you won't be able to pick up a cartridge in your local Iceland. So the fact that "ten minutes of whaffing produce only 200 calories" is a benefit likely to be lost on the majority of the population. 

The rest of us will be stuck inhaling our chicken nuggets the old-fashioned way. And then wondering why everything we wear has an elasticated waistband. 

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