5 weird things people do with food

Updated on 29 March 2011 | 0 Comments

Ranging from the dangerous to the extraordinary, these tales bring welcome respite to our waistbands and fuel instead for our imaginations.

If you’re browsing lovefood.com, you’re probably marginally to massively food obsessed.  But loving food isn’t just about eating  delicious recipes – there are many other ways you can celebrate your love of food.

Ranging from the dangerous to the extraordinary, these tales bring welcome respite to our waistbands and fuel instead for our imaginations. 

1. Jelly creations 

jelly babiesFar from being the reserve of grannies and lamb, jelly is making a fashionable come-back, tickling taste-buds and piquing art lovers’ interest alike. 

Aside from the Mauro Perucchetti Jelly Baby Sculptures at Marble Arch, which are not actually edible, Bompas & Parr can take much of the credit for this wobbly revival. 

Old Etonian Sam Bompass and Harry Parr, both in their late 20s, have worked with architects like Lord Foster and Richard Rogers to create unbelievable food experiences, sometimes on a crazy scale (see glow-in-the-dark jelly pictured above). 

Previous works include a vast glowing jelly installation for San Francisco Moma, a walk-in cloud of breathable G &T and a tile installation for the opening of the trendy new Ravensbourne College by Foreign Architects.  They have also given some tremulous advice to that other gastro-scientist Heston Blumenthal for his series Feast.

2. Chocolate Massage 

chocolate facialMost of us love a little bit of chocolate; it’s a little bit naughty, a little bit necessary.  Devouring whole cheap Easter eggs and their inner cheap choc squiggles is not going to do you any favours, of course.

But a piece of top notch dark chocolate can get you over that 4pm speed hump at work, and supposedly has antioxidant benefits. 

Still, what is more likely to purge your body of toxins, while allowing you to benefit from the feel-good qualities of chocolate without the calories, is a sumptuous chocolate massage.  West London’s Savanah Spa is notorious for its luscious 75 minute chocolate rub and wrap.  This involves an exfoliation with melted down cocoa butter and brown sugar, while you relax with a chocolate face-mask, then a massage with warm cocoa butter and a piping hot chocolate drink to complete the assault.  Mmmm. 

Alternatively, try the Cadbury’s and Karin Herzog KOKO facial at Ajala Spa, which combines pure chocolate and oxygen therapy to dazzling effect – no licking your lips though. 

3. Tomato throwing in Spain 

tomato festivalPlaying with food has always been appealing, and here’s a legitimate excuse to get mucky and behave like a stroppy toddler.  Every year, 30,000 people descend on the village of Brunol, in Valencia, Spain to chuck tomatoes at each other. 

The scene looks bloody, but has more of a salsa roja smell I imagine.  It’s been taking place since 1944 and is the highlight of an 11 day festival paying homage to the town’s patron saints Luis Bertrain & Mare de Deu dels Desemparats. 

The shlopping around in the Plaza del Pueblo of the diminutive small Spanish town is scheduled for August 31st  this year; just don’t forget some goggles to see through the mush - and perhaps a piece of Pecorino for accompaniment. 

4. Cheese rolling in Gloucesteshire

cheese rollingCooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire is only 300 metres high, but judging by the pictures, they are pretty vertical, if not concave, metres. 

In order to participate in the annual cheese rolling that's been taking place there for about 200 years, you have to climb up, position yourself at the top, while a round of Double Gloucester cheese is launched off. 

A second or so later, you join everyone in racing after this speedy cheese, in the hope of catching it, or at least crossing the line at the bottom first. 

Clearly, there is a lot of tumbling, sliding and ricocheting off the safety fences.  Whoever said being a turophile was easy work? 

The winner takes the cheese, and everyone, no doubt, takes a lot of bruises and bashes. 

Unfortunately the 2011 cheese rolling has been cancelled, due to safety risks about the vast number of people from around the world who pitch up, but hopefully it will resume next year. 

There is even a cheese-rolling game for the iphone, which I have added to my list of reasons not to capitulate and upgrade to one, I’m afraid.  Some things are just best left to reality. 

5. Bathing in baked beans 

baked beansYou either love them, or you think they are as unsightly on a full breakfast plate as I do black pudding, but either way you can’t deny baked beans are very much present in the English diet. 

Personally, baked beans on toast with grated cheese is one of those comfort meals I suddenly rediscover, and overdo like an Adele song, until I forget them again. 

It’s completely nuts to want to do anything with baked beans other than stack them in the bottom of your larder for a rainy day, but people must be odd. Performance artist Mark McGowan claims to have spent 12 days sitting in a bath of baked beans, complete with two chips up his nose and 48 sausages wrapped around his head for a stunt back in 2003.

He was ‘advocating the consumption of the much-maligned breakfast’, but somehow I don’t imagine it got people racing for the Heinz aisles to stock up. 

He’s not alone in having taken a beany dip though, as the stunt has been taken up for many charity raising events, like Comic Relief and Red Nose Day.  I doubt it’s something David Blaine is about to try in a hurry, being rather more sickly reality than illusion, plus bound to put any participant off baked beans for life. 

Tell us about your views

Do you think it’s right to have fun with food like this – or is food just for eating? Have you pulled off any food stunts you’d like to share with other lovefood.com readers? Let us know using the comments box below!

Also worth of your attention

The best potato peelers

The tastiest regional foods in the UK

Claudia Roden: Instinctive cooking from the heart

Photo courtesy of www.mauroperucchetti.com


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