Cooking with Cotton Candy

My sister Christy read my What I Believe blog entry. It was nothing new to her. She’s been listening to me preach this stuff for years. “Melon does not belong in a plastic wheel!” I say when she offers me a selection of three different watery, flavorless melon-type cubes purchased at Costco. “That is manufactured food! You might as well eat a Q-Tip!” I admit that this isn’t a very effective way to get my message across. All it means is that nobody in my family offers me anything to eat, and that they make me cook when I go to their houses, usually citing fear of some sort. “I’m afraid that whatever I buy will be wrong,” my mom says when she insists I go shopping rather than give her a list of things to buy when I come to town. But I digress…

When my sister got to the bottom of my little manifesto, she told me that the foam thing was funny but she didn’t get the cotton candy/Pop Rocks references and that maybe I should take them out. “I mean, since nobody really uses Pop rocks and cotton candy…” Ahh… but they do, I told her. They may not have worked their way into shopping mall restaurants the way foam has, but… I told her about the Pop Rocks inside a milk chocolate bark—think Nestles Crunch that explodes in your mouth—that I had at the opening gala for The Bazaar by Jose Andres that I went to last month in Los Angeles. (I had to work that in somewhere, since it was the first party I’ve ever been to where Paris Hilton showed up. And I was actually on the guest list, not a plus-one. This marked, for me, the definitive beginning of a collision between two worlds: chefs that matter to our culture. And people who don’t. Or shouldn’t.) At the same party, they also served cotton candy wrapped on a paper stick, Tootsie-pop style, around a little dice-sized cube of foie gras. Here is a picture to prove it.

This is me. That may look like a rose but it tasted like foie gras wrapped in cotton candy. Because it was.
This is me. That may look like a rose but it tasted like foie gras wrapped in cotton candy. Because it was.

I took my niece, Johnna as my date to that party. She thought she hated foie gras but she decided to try it anyway in the spirit of the evening and the place, which we agreed was the closest you could get to the experience of being being on magic mushrooms while eating in a restaurant. She tried it. She loved it. And she thereby proved my point number five. Now if I could just get Colman to eat eggs. Or Oprah to eat whole milk yogurt….

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