Simulacra, Simulation, and Sevruga

by in View All Posts, December 11th, 2008

My pal Nico just sent me a thoroughly-non-work-safe picture of the first course he was served at Le Bernardin last night. It was salmon tartare topped with caviar, plated in such a way that I totally can’t post it. Regardless, it led me to wonder about the phenomenon of food pareidolia — which is to say, food that looks like not-food.

For example, there’s something very charming about this eggplant’s day out, the whole bento box phenomenon is worth a post of its own, and we’re fond here of the art of Saxton Freymann.

But to what extent does cuteness/anthropomorphicness factor into deliciousness? Is this like Easter bunnies, where the post-beheading guilt detracts from the experience? Or are these like those sugar-coated Easter marshmallows, which would be totally inedible if they weren’t cute? Also, why is this only discussable in Easter terms?

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

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