The Kitchen Shrink: It’s easy to trick your senses with April Fools’ Foods!
With April Fools Day around the corner, let’s have some great food fun. Many foods can fool your taste buds, eyeballs and imagination. Here are some for your amusement. No kidding!
Food Misnomers: A coconut is a fruit from the coconut palm tree, not a nut. No nuts in peanuts either, as they’re legumes. And peanut butter is devoid of butter. Same with buttermilk, which is really a low-cal drink. And there’s no nuts or butter in butternut squash.
Pineapples have also been misleadingly named; they neither taste nor even vaguely resemble the forbidden fruit. Grapefruit has no connection with those bunches of sweet, juicy grapes. Eggplants, elliptical, purple-skinned nightshades, a first cousin to the tobacco and potato plants, have nothing to do with eggs.
Now potatoes have no correlation to toes while the thick, hardened corns you get on your toes have nothing to do with the maize crop.
Size Shenanigans: Shrimps are not always the puny, mealy ones you toss in your salads or omelets, especially the jumbo or colossal kinds. Baby carrots are really fully-grown but have been whittled down to appear diminutive and dainty. Then there’s the Green Giant who promotes petite peas and baby limas.
Food Fake Outs: A famous restaurant on Fukuoka, the southern most Island of Japan, in better, happier days served masterpieces made of tofu, everything from seafood and vegetable appetizers to soups, main courses, side dishes and elaborate desserts (such as birds in a nest). Vegans worldwide can indulge in fake meat including tofu turkey, (tofurkey), tofu dogs, and textured soy “ground beef.”
While Spam is a mystery meat of “spicy ham,” hamburgers do not contain ham. Chefs have now expanded their burger repertoire to include chicken, turkey, lamb, pork, mushrooms, tofu and assorted grains.
Super steamed cauliflower put through a ricer mixed with butter, milk and spices masquerades as mash potatoes. Spaghetti squash strands topped with marinara sauce is a fabulous veggie linguini. Root veggies shredded and mixed with eggs, flour, seasoning, formed into patties and pan fried pass easily as potato latkes.
Finally, for lactose intolerants, frozen treats beautifully mock ice cream made of tofu, rice milk, almond milk, goat’s milk and even hemp milk for pleasant fooleries.
Colorblind Fare: Blueberries are really purple, same with blackberries. Red onions are magenta. Potatoes come in hues of violet, rose and yellow, while carrots have morphed into white, yellow and purple varieties as well as the classic orange. And speaking of orange, was the fruit named first, or was it named after the color? Beets are golden hues along with red, and tomatoes are no longer exclusively red, as the heirlooms come in designer shades of golden, green, tie-dye and striped zebra print.
A Hot Tamale: People as foods? Anything’s possible on April 1. The hot tamale mentioned above could be your town sexpot or cheesecake. The geek down the street is an egghead. The hunky pool guy is a beefcake. The five-time Jeopardy champ is a hot dog. The CEO of Google is not only a smart cookie, but a big cheese, while the summer apprentice would be a small fry.
The former boxer has cauliflower ears, when people get out of shape they can be saddled with a beer belly, cottage cheese thighs or muffin tops that can make them real crab apples. If you stay as cool as a cucumber and use your noodle, you can cook up dozens more. For me, this is the last straw.
Lamburger on a Bun
Here’s a grilled lamburger, the leaner, better alternative to the beef hamburger. And this is no joke!
1 pound of fresh ground lamb
1 small red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon of spicy mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste
For the toppings – Sliced heirloom tomatoes, grilled red onions, roasted red peppers or sautéed mushrooms.
Directions: In a small fry pan, sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil until tender. In a large mixing bowl combine the lamb with the remaining ingredients and the sautéed onions. Add enough breadcrumbs until a firm consistency forms. Shape into four patties, and grill to desired doneness or about 4 minutes on each side. Serve on your favorite bun with toppings of your choice.
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