Eat Your Greens (and Blues)
It’s not as if backwards phrases like freedom fries would ever cross my lips but I’m definitely not gaga over everything Gallic. I fail to understand the foodie obsession with French culture. Blind romantic notions about the European country seem about as clichéd as our gun toting, fatso, junk food gorging image. It’s all misguided—just ask the Japanese.
However, Sunday’s New York Times profile of Frédérick E. Grasser-Hermé had an appeal I normally don’t find in subjects of “The Way We Eat” column. Who else but an eccentrically stylish (I do admire the way older European women tend to resist surgerizing their faces into supposed youthfulness—of course, their age appropriate visages sit atop a frighteningly svelte figure) middle aged French woman could go crazy with unnatural colors and combos and make it chic instead of kitsch?
I’d like to see her set of books, Serial Colors, each devoted to recipes using a single color. As she describes in the Times “the rainbow of my dreams: a white polar-bear cocktail, a black truffle pizza, a blue lobster roll, violet mashed potatoes with cassis. . . .” Blue lobster? Naturally blue crustaceans are incredibly rare (about one in a million) so she must mean that the flesh has been rendered azure somehow. This is something I need to know more about.
Freakishly colored food has always brought joy into my life, and the more shades of blue employed the better. Of course, my dabbling leans more towards tasty monstrosities like blue velvet cake not “cobalt blue flying-fish roe mounded on top of a marrow bone and peas and grated carrots suspended in a square of agar-agar.” Preservative laden or certified organic, it doesn’t matter to me—I’ll take green Hostess Sno-Balls and rainbow chard.