Willy Wonka, molecular gastronomist  APR 08 2011

From John Lanchester's review of Nathan Myhrvold's massive cookbook, Modernist Cuisine:

Another thing they love is magic -- and recent culinary discoveries have opened up extraordinary possibilities for the chef to serve things that the customers had never thought were possible. Foods that change temperature when you eat them, a cup of tea that is cold on one side and hot on the other, an edible menu, a "Styrofoam" beaker that turns into a bowl of ramen when the server pours hot water over it, edible clay and rocks, a pocket watch that turns into mock-turtle soup, a bar of soap covered in foam that is actually a biscuit with honey bubbles, a milkshake volcano -- these are the kinds of thing with which the modernist chefs amaze their audience.

From Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:

"Marshmallow pillows are terrific," shouted Mr. Wonka as he dashed by. "They'll be all the rage when I get them into the shops! No time to go in, though! No time to go in!"

Lickable Wallpaper for Nurseries, it said on the next door.

"Lovely stuff, lickable wallpaper!" cried Mr. Wonka, rushing past. "It has pictures of fruits on it -- bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, pineapples, strawberries, and snozzberries..."

"Snozzberries?" said Mike Teevee. "Don't interrupt!" said Mr. Wonka. "The wallpaper has all these pictures of all these fruits printed on it, and when you lick the picture of the banana, it tastes of banana. When you lick a strawberry, it tastes of strawberry. And when you lick a snozzberry, it tastes just exactly like a snozzberry..."

"But what does a snozzberry taste like?"

"You're mumbling again," said Mr. Wonka. "Speak louder next time. On we go. Hurry up!"

Hot Ice Cream for Cold Days, it said on the next door.

"Extremely useful in the winter," said Mr. Wonka, rushing on. "Hot ice cream warms you up no end in freezing weather. I also make hot ice cubes for putting in hot drinks. Hot ice cubes make hot drinks hotter."

Read more posts on kottke.org about:
books   Charlie and the Chocolate Factory   food   Modernist Cuisine   Nathan Myhrvold   Roald Dahl

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