Cooking Up Something Strange

by Nick Livermore

There’s that certain type of chef, who is always looking to take their cooking to a new level. Whether it be making entire dishes from scratch, buying that expensive new grill or growing their own ingredients, they strive for that something special. Eco18 breaks down some chefs and cultures that do just that – cooking in ways that you never even thought possible.

We start in northern Greenland with a centuries old tradition. As the cold weather sets in, families living in one of the northernmost parts of the globe begin to stockpile. The group catches 300-500 small seabirds  and stuff them into a bag made out of seal skin. The bag is then filled airtight with seal fat, sewed shut and then buried to ferment for anywhere from 3 to 18 months. The end result is a fermented delicacy known as kiviaq, a dish so pungent that it must be eaten outdoors.

One friend returned from Oaxaca, Mexico, speaking of another innovative cooking method. As opposed to food being exposed to an external heat source, a red hot riverstone is thrown into the bowl of uncooked ingredients and stirred until the food is bubbling hot. One word of precaution, don’t try this one at home. Riverstones may have water in their core, which will expand and explode when heated!

Another ingredient starting to show up on menus is blood. While blood has been used as a staple ingredient in some foods, namely sausages, chefs are starting to use it more prominently. Due to its interesting protein structure, blood can be a very versatile ingredient. Food Arts has an interesting article detailing all things blood.

Chefs out there who can’t get enough of their car will be keen to get their hands on Manifold Destiny: The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine! Yes, that’s right, a cookbook devoted to cooking ON your car’s engine. What could be more delicious than Cruise-Control Pork Tenderloin or Nifty NAFTA Nachos?

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Do you have any bizarre recipes or cooking methods? We would love to hear them in the comments below!

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