In the social food chain there are those apex predators such as ourselves which are few in number, sustained by a large population of prey organisms whose miserable end is our sustenance. Oftentimes the unsavory details are hidden away by some industrial process that obscures this fundamental relationship, with elaborate trappings and scientific airs, but underneath the fundamental relationship is still intact. Every so often, one of those being devoured comes up with a defensive twist which makes our part in the drama somewhat more difficult, in the hopes that by making themselves sufficiently less unappealing relative to his or her peers, they might be overlooked at the moment of truth. Learn to spot this and other gambits so that you can enjoy an untroubled feast upon the castoffs of civilization.
- Fresh ingredients. When you set out to consume those who are of a relatively humble status in life, you expect to enjoy the simple flavors and textures characteristic of such individuals without the exotic technological and pharmaceutical refinements that the lofty enjoy. There is a corresponding premium placed on the freshness of your fare, avoiding things such as lengthy cold storage and transport over long distances. The attraction of consuming the less fortunate goes along with the ideals of the culinary locavore movement in which one assembles those items from one's immediate neighborhood and emphasizes the interplay of local flavors.
- The art of the butcher. If you come from a swords and sorcery sort of milieu you may easily adapt your usual flesh-rending techniques in order to leave the victim in a state suitable for the table. Some prefer to include additional stages of ritualistic blood-letting and salting to pay homage to the ways of the distant past.
- Preparation techniques. Those living out on the mean streets with uncertain diets are apt to develop a certain quality in the flesh which may favor cooking at lower temperatures and moist heat to improve tenderness. These include braising, stewing, and slow roasting, all of which may be incorporated with your existing technique in interrogations. Many find that a vigorous pummeling also helps break down tough fibers enhancing palatability.
- Sauces. In many ways the genius of a head chef is still very much bound up with the preparation of the sauce to accompany the meal. It can effectively disguise a number of peccadilloes and impose its own character on the dish, while avoiding overpowering the palate with its own force majeure. There are a few major variations on the classic sauces which can be made to work in almost any culinary situation you might encounter.
- Presentation. A humble mortal previously unaccustomed to fancy trappings is elevated when served in a platinum tureen or bedecked, ironically, in pure gold leaf. Let your personal style as an evil supervillain come through in an opulent fashion and you will likely be the talk of all your dinner guests long after the sordid banquet is over.
Strokes of genius
- Music to dine by. The experience of consuming the less fortunate can be enhanced immeasurably by incorporating the fine arts, such as music to set the mood. It helps make the mental transition from the strife and stress of armed conflict to the one where the opponent is a work of culinary art resting in a cream sauce. A mix of calm, restful strains and more uptempo beats is guaranteed to keep the meal lively, while the rhythmic clashing of edged weapons on the field of battle is calculated to give a bracing effect.
- Attention to detail. Once the repast has been prepared the work of the thoughtful chef is not over. Suitable garnishes which perhaps call to mind the station in life of the recently expired, a tasteful centerpiece incorporating some of their symbolic possessions and items representing their extinct culture, and a concluding dessert course which contrasts harmoniously with the main course are all touches which an educated gourmand will appreciate.
- Stuffings. The conversion from full-fledged sentient to meal selection offers the opportunity for those individuals who were recently indigent to experience what it is like to be filled up, for a change. Savory dressings provide a contrast in texture and can help counteract any tendency toward drying out.
- Resting period. The phrase "rest in peace" is a useful one for the master chef, referring as it might to the five to ten minute delay between the active cooking period and the time when the dish is to be served, giving it time for the flavors to combine. Those awaiting the arrival of the meal can enjoy the scent of the main course wafting through the dining area, using it perhaps as an excuse to meditate on the transience of all life.
Traps for mere fools
- Undercooked meat. Thorough cooking is your first line of defense against nasty parasites you might otherwise have passed on to you from their previous lodgings. Insert an instant-reading meat thermometer into the center of the roast or leg if there is any doubt.
- Tears of the innocent.
- Heavy metals. Including both rounds of ammunition lodged in the victim and poisoning by arsenic and the like. If you have reason to suspect a taint of this type, lengthy marination with a chelating agent can help.
- Poor wine pairings.
- Saturated fats.
Precious and needful
- Table linens. You may repurpose the clothing of your victims for this in much the same way they themselves have been repurposed, but be sure to launder them thoroughly beforehand.
- Condiments. A hearty mustard, fiery hot sauce, or a pungent horseradish is sometimes just what's needed when the fare is on the gamey side.
- Meat cleaver.
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- Image credit Coto eating by Tambako the Jaguar
- Image credit door bitch from hell by mugley
- Image credit If It Wasn't Sewn On by Cat Rocketship
Created by: . Last Modification: Sunday 20 of November, 2011 11:20:29 EST by .