Geoff Nicholson, Psycho Gourmet
When I was about 17, I read a book called The Food Chain that has really stuck with me. Part satire, part historical novel, it’s about bacchanals, overindulgence, cannibalism, and all sorts of saucy, depraved things. It probably corrupted my young mind a great deal.
When I was in college, I kept a running list of my favorite food passages from fiction, and here’s one from Food Chain:
He ate cuttlefish ink, stuffed gizzard, kidneys with nasturtium flowers, truffle vinaigrette. A thing that started out looking and tasting like a cheesecake would unloose more complex and threatening sub-tastes of cumin, pear, coffee and capers. Chicken livers appeared, dressed up to look like ice cream. He would cut into a perfectly innocent-looking piece of Stilton to find gooseberry and chilli. He found himself eating the tongues and brains of songbirds. Here was lizard. Here were lamprey intestines. And he was forced to wash it down with all manner of unusual wines; Ugandan vin du pays, Cambodian hock, something that called itself avocado champagne.
I recently learned that the author, Geoff Nicholson, keeps a food blog called Psycho-Gourmet. Sometimes he just talks about food. Other times, he cooks, too: here, he wraps some stuff in a caul and deep-fries it.
He’s always interesting to read.