Yesterday was the day of the recipe…actually make that recipeS. You know, those wonderful lists of ingredients in particular quantities and arrangements that simply make your tongue want to roll out of your mouth and die in delight. I’m talking about THOSE recipes. I believe we each encounter very few and specific moments in our lives when we open our mouth and instead of the bitten and chewed food travelling to our stomach, it travels to our heart. Now, as corny as that sounds, if you have met one of your food spouses, then you know exactly what I am talking about. I began the day with porridge and fruit, nothing unique or worthy of discussion there. However, my lunch was by then already exciting me. My two other friends and I were planned to go to lunch at a restaurant called Elmo before our 2pm class at school. I had briefly looked at the website and knew that it was a pretty snazzy place, despite its less than impressive exterior. In fact, at first glance you would be entirely uninterested to even pass it. We were seated by a couple of gay waiters, just to add to the day’s excitement, and handed our menus. I chose the chicken skewers with a side of truffle fries, a rather safe choice I must admit, but nevertheless it was what I was in the mood for. The food arrived swiftly and we began to eat. The chicken was covered in something called ‘yakitori’ sauce, which was described as a ‘japanese glaze’. i am telling you now…it was heavenly! Far beyond my expectations. I was full and yet I continued to eat fries so that I had a socially expectable manner of devouring every last lick of the sauce on my plate. I believe my friend’s noticed, and chuckled at the sight of my avid appreciation of this small delight.
Next was on the way home from school and during one of those hourly conversations that in some way involves Nandos or Wagamamas, phenomenons I am aware that many Americans do not know of. If you do not, I encourage you to immediately go and find one, travel across state if you must!! Anyway, it has been a long kept desire of mine to own the recipes to the infamous Nandos Piri Piri sauce, and simply anything to do with Wagamamas, whether it be sauce or cake…just ANYTHING. Now I am aware that I can buy the Piri Piri sauce at any local English supermarket, but there is something about owning the recipe, that goes far above and beyond that. Wagamamas is simpler, as they are selling a large and wonderful cookbook, that anybody, friend of foe, is welcome to buy me for my birthday. Nevertheless, I have plans to work there over summer break in the hopes of ‘accidentally overhearing’ the key secrets to the Wagamamas success; Sheldon Plankton style!
Last, but far from least, is those cheap ass, fat filled, chocolate smothered cakes you can buy from any supermarket. You know, the ones that cost about $6 and are made by the thousands every day and the shot across the world. Full of chemicals to keep them from moulding, and placed a fair distance from the more expensive, daily-made local pastries. Yes, those. Most of my curiosity comes from wanting to know how on earth these things can last weeks and weeks. In my books, that’s a little suspicious. The other bit comes from my fascination in its ability to twist a group of people tightly around its finger; some sort of love chemical me thinks! Finally, a little bit of me, and this is the baker part of me, is irritated that chemicals continue to overpower good natural ingredients in the culinary world perhaps if I can own the recipe to these laboratory cakes I can discover a way to combine good eating and good food. As unknown to many, they rarely come hand in hand.