Thursday 29 August 2013

EATING HABITS OF THE FIRST WORLD. From Cronuts to designer water.

Last week some 200 people experienced that special Cronut feeling: nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. It came with the condiment that goes on top of Cronut burgers: Maple bacon jam. Yup, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a mush of bacon, syrup, and sugar. According to the Wikipedia, a condiment is an edible substance that adds flavor to food. Time to update that definition. It’s an inedible substance that adds flab to your body.

Of course you can’t expect Wikipedia to keep up with the newest trend in monster foods. For that you have to go to Bizarre Foods America on, and Andrew Zimmern will make sure you are up on goat dumplings and bleeding stones. No, I’m not talking about the state of your kidneys after eating Cronut burgers. I’m talking about Chilean seafood, Pyura Chilensis. Check out this bottom-feeder on  It looks like a bleeding stone but the edible part is Pyurean snot made up of digested micro algae. Lost your appetite? Ready for a special diet?

If you want to lose both weight and money, visit the Ray & Stark Bar in Los Angeles and study their elegant water menu, curated by Martin Riese. For $ 12 you can sip a selection of waters from tiny tasting glasses. Or you can fork over $ 20 for a bottle of Berg – harvested from the glacial waters of Greenland under the strictest standards of purity. Or you can pay $ 15 for California’s own Beverly Hills 90H20, a designer water produced in a limited edition and served in individually numbered bottles.

I just hope that Ray & Stark will open a branch bar on the Champs-Elysees – no, not the one in Paris, but its namesake on the main drag of Za-atari, a refugee camp in Jordan (NYer 26 August).  The shops on the boulevard already offer shawarma, chicken, pizza, coffee and tea, but they are missing the big thing: western decadence.  How can they ever become first-world citizens without designer water?

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