dipping candles and cheese fondue got me thinking about cooking. what kind of food could you make by gradual layered accumulation? related: sedementary food (flaky pastry, lasagne, spanikopita, butterfingers...). what about other processes of nature? sous vide is the hip thing these days, where it's not getting outlawed. that's enough like the formation of petroleum to make me want more parallels.
artistically, it's appealing to me, since simulating and highlighting neat nature things is what i'm about. it's an added conceptual level to great cooking. "we're having a cretaceous meal tonight, honey." "mm, bronto-burgers à la tar pit!" "the plating is excellent. the sesame seeds represent the rebirth of plant life post-comet-impact-winter, and the chicken nuggets remind us how low reptilian derivatives fall in the food chain."
metamorphic, porphorytic, igneous food. candy is the obvious branch for weird food science experimentation. too easy. we were watching an iron chef america episode last week (awful show, don't bother) where mario batali was battling some guy who must have been a plant from the processed foods lobby. his specialty was using all the weird chemical additives you can't pronounce that are in foods you shouldn't be eating because the ingredients lists are bigger than your palm. along with border cases like carrageen, he used some odd amino acid to weld together the molecules of mashed fish paste to eventually produce noodles made completely out of fish. that's disgusting, but curious. i'm sure there's more traditional ways to approach the subject. anyway, it got me thinking...
i will take my crock-pot any day. the idea of being off by one degree causing botulism (let alone the apparently expensive equipment), kinda scares me away. haha
when i read the "layered accumulation" question, i immediately thought of a cake my friend tigun has made a couple of times. (apparently is typically used for celebrations, which makes sense, given its kinda labor-intensive.) it is called (thanks google) "kwee lapis" and takes its cues (like a some indonesian cooking does) from the dutch.
it is basically a bunch (they say you get about 20, which seems right) of alternating layers. think layer cake. then say it about 10 times. they are really very much like a bunch of crepes, kinda spiced. its one of the best textures of any cake-like pastry i have ever had. creamy, yet, um, layery.
it very much reminded me of the seasonal rings in a tree.
Baumkuche -- tree cake -- is a really awesome German cake made by dipping a ... well a hollow metal dildo, basically, in thin cake batter, then baking it briefly, then dipping again, then baking again, ad infinitum or at least 20 times, and then dipped in a final coating of chocolate. Mmmm.
They call it tree cake because you can cut it open and count the rings, to see how hard your German baker worked on it.
We always bring one of these back from Germany. They are ... le merde!