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Bourbon baby

New dad Jack Daniels names son Jim Beam

Parents’ wedding officiant was named Johnny Walker; if couple has a daughter, she’ll be called Sherry

Bottles of Jim Beam bourbon at their distillery in Clermont, Kentucky. Photograph: John Sommers II/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A man named after whiskey has named his son for bourbon.

Thirty-one-year-old Jack Daniels Leathers of Gray says he and his 23-year-old wife, Lydia Leathers, chose the name well before their marriage.

He tells The Courier they talked about baby names on their first date and thought Jim Beam would be a good idea.

Jim Beam Leathers was born 14 November, turning grandparental pique into tradition. Jack Daniels Leathers says his parents named him to upset their own parents.

He says that if they have another baby, a boy would be Evan Williams, after the bourbon, and a girl would be named Sherry.

The alcoholic names extended to the Terrebonne Parish judge who officiated at their wedding: Judge Johnny Walker.

Source: TheGuardian

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The world’s longest, booziest, race

The Marathon du Médoc: running the world’s longest, booziest, race

Is a full marathon with 23 wine stops also offering specialities such as oysters, steak, and ice-cream a recipe for success – or disaster?

The Marathon du Médoc: a race with a twist. Photograph: PR

As any long-distance runner knows, there are a number of cardinal rules when it comes to marathons and, while waiting at the start line for my third, I realise I have broken most of them. My general health is poor, in fact I woke coughing up so much phlegm that I was reminded of Slimer from Ghostbusters; I haven’t allowed myself a good night’s sleep; and I’ve not trained in my race outfit – a police costume bought off eBay for £15 – partly from fear of getting beaten up in my north London hood, and partly because I’ve not really trained much at all.

Oh, and I’m extremely hungover. Fortunately, I’m attempting Bordeaux’s Marathon du Médoc; a running event combining “wine, sports, fun and health”, which seems to actively encourage anything that’s normally discouraged in running. Held every September in France’s Médoc region, this sounds like the most idiotic race known to man. The course is 26.2 miles through scenic vineyards and the participants – in compulsory fancy dress – are expected to indulge in 23 glasses of the famed vintages en route, while also stuffing themselves with local specialities such as oysters, foie gras, cheese, steak and ice-cream. Brilliant.

My hangover, then, is in good company, and I’m not just referring to my running partner and fellow “police officer” Birdy, whose eyes are so bloodshot he looks like a zombie. Many of the 10,000 other participants have attended one of the event’s pasta parties the previous evening: a glorious mix of wine, carbohydrates and merriment designed, I suspect, to ensure that you forget you’re running a marathon the following morning. Or, in Birdy’s case, even on the day itself.

Yet the atmosphere at the packed start line is upbeat. Everyone is grinning, most are dancing, some are even whooping – a far cry from the sombre, nervous mood of my previous marathons.

The event has even more glitz and glamour this year – fireworks and dancers at the start line and an additional 1,500 runners to acknowledge the 30th anniversary of the first race. “The first official race didn’t take place until 1985, but it was meant to take place in 1984,” explains Vincent Fabre, the marathon’s president, when I question why the anniversary dates don’t quite add up. “There were some problems with administration – they’re very strict about health and safety over here.”

The Marathon du Médoc: Excessive alcohol consumption may result in some strange visions Photograph: Vicky Lane

Glancing at the pack of Smurfs already finishing off a bottle of vino (it’s 9.30am), and the oversized baby having a fag in the starting zone, I’m not entirely convinced regulations are quite as stringent as they would be back in the UK – though I’m hardly complaining.

I do have one concern though. Having – strangely enough – not really trained with the food and drink I intend to consume en route, I’m unsure what havoc they will wreak on my stomach. Luckily, a man whose costume consists of a toilet roll secured to his head reminds me. “Imodium,” I explain to Birdy, pulling the packet of pills out of my pocket and handing him some. “Some now and some for later, in case of… the worst.”

Having been advised by veterans that those who were serious about the Marathon du Médoc aimed to finish as close to the six-hour-30-minutes time limit as possible to take full advantage of the produce on offer, Birdy and I agree that our strategy is: take it slow. Too slow. The novelty of introducing wine to running is too much for our over-excited selves, and while slurping back our third glass of wine at Chateau Montrose – the first wine stop just over 5km along the track – it occurs to us that we’ve already taken almost an hour. Spotting the cut-off float dangerously close we decide to pick up the pace.

But after the first chateau, the stops come thick and fast, the wine and food – biscuits, waffles, fruit, sweets, cheese, bread, crackers – go down far too easily, and the temptation to stop for an impromptu boogie to the many wonderful local bands stationed along the route is too hard to resist.

Plus, it’s really hot: around 27 degrees without a cloud in sight. And the heat slows us down to walking pace along the stunning – but very exposed – country roads and vineyard tracks. As we approach Chateau Lafite Rothschild around halfway, we notice some runners have found an excellent way to cool down – by jumping into the Chateau’s lake. We decide to join them – along with our car keys we later realise. Who knew alcohol could affect good judgment?

It also affects the second half of a marathon, which, for the first time, I find easier than the first. Plodding along in my own merry way, I’m quite oblivious to the mileage we’re getting through. It’s Birdy who breaks into a spontaneous, projectile vomit around 18 miles (29km), necessitating another Imodium tablet. “Too late,” he shouts, seconds later, running off at a speed we could have done with a while back towards the nearest chemical toilet.

Finally, after mile 23, the oyster stop. God, the cool, lemony, saltiness washed down with white wine tastes incredible. To me, anyway. Half a mile from the end, Birdy keels over for his second vomit. Instantly a group of medics are around him checking that he’s OK. “He’s fine – just too much – you know,” I assure, making a drinking motion.

Indeed this marathon – to the organisers’ pride – has the most medical support of any in the world, not that it seems to need it. Unlike in the London and Paris marathons I only saw one floored person (a Smurf, surprise surprise) on the entire route. Maybe it’s because there is a less pressure to run fast – or maybe I was just too drunk to notice.

Finishers’ treats: not a granola bar in sight at the end of the Marathon du Médoc. Alka Seltzer might be handy, though Photograph: Vicky Lane

When we finally stumble over the finish line, sunburnt and tipsy, we’re happy. Until we realise that we have taken six hours and 52 minutes. What the hell happened? “You had fun!” says Fabre, when we meet up later. “Year after year, the Marathon du Médoc proves you can be healthy and safe while appreciating fine food, wine and our beautiful region. It isn’t about getting a good time – it’s about having a good time.”

He’s right. It’s been a long day, I’m still full of cold, and yet, undeniably, I’ve managed to have one of the most bizarre and brilliant experiences of my life. Even better, because of the heat, Birdy and I weren’t the only ones to be a bit on the slow side, so organisers extended the cut-off time by half an hour. It means that we are presented with a medal, and a splendid goody bag containing a souvenir bottle of wine and engraved red wine glasses. That beats the cereal bar they gave me in Paris.

Source: TheGuardian

 


Mad Honey

The buzz about ‘mad honey’, hot honey and mead

Would you eat honey that could send you mad – or even kill you? Here are three kinds of honey that pack a punch

Honeycomb. Photograph: Stanca Sanda/Alamy

After years confined to squeezy bottles and jars at the back of the cupboard, honey is finally getting the attention it deserves. It has always been revered for its health properties, even credited with promoting weight loss in this year’s “honey diet”, and there has been a spate of DIY beekeeping in a bid to combat dwindling numbers. But it is getting noticed for other reasons these days. New Yorkers are going crazy for an infused chilli version, and UK chefs and bartenders have rediscovered the joy of mead, that ancient – and very alcoholic – tipple. But by far the most intriguing example is Turkey’s “mad honey”. Here are the honeys that pack a punch.

Deli bal (or ‘mad honey’)

Jars of honey
Jars of honey. Photograph: Alamy

This amber-hued mutant’s effects range from a pleasant tingling to dizziness, blurred vision and impaired speech. Worse, it was once used as a weapon of war. In 67BC, King Mithridates’ army left chunks of “mad honeycomb” in the path of the Roman enemy, who gobbled it up, lost their minds and were promptly slain. The honey is also said to have medicinal qualities – from treating hypertension and diabetes to improving sexual performance – when consumed in small amounts. It is more or less confined to the Black Sea region. There, in humid conditions, apiarists herd bees to fields of special rhododendron flowers containing grayanotoxin, and the toxin spikes the resulting honey (incidentally, it is the same poison used by the chief antagonist Lord Blackwood to feign his death in the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes).

If you do find yourself in the area and want a taste, you’ll have to dig a bit deeper than supermarket shelves. Ask nicely, and chances are most local shopkeepers will hand over a jar from a stash tucked behind the counter, adding to the old-world mystery of it all. But be very careful: do not spread it on toast, drizzle it over yoghurt or generally treat it like normal honey. A tiny spoonful on the tongue is more than enough; any more and you’re at risk of “mad honey poisoning”, which afflicts a handful of unwitting travellers each year. It is no laughing matter – it causes low blood pressure and heartbeat irregularities, and in extreme – and thankfully rare – cases, can be fatal. This is honey at its most hardcore.

Hot honey

Mike's Hot Honey
Mike’s Hot Honey. Photograph: Erez Horowitz/PR company handout

From the sleepy Turkish mountains we jump to the lively streets of Brooklyn, where “hot honey”, a chilli-infused condiment, is making waves (and has even been tipped as the next sriracha). Leading the way is Mike’s Hot Honey, based on a sauce that owner Mike Kurtz discovered in a rural Brazilian pizzeria. Combining a secret type of South American chilli (which sits somewhere between jalapeños and habaneros on the spicy scale) with honey and a dash of vinegar, this is not for the faint-hearted. According to Kurtz, the reddish liquid initially tastes sweet, before making way for heat – and a slight smokiness – after a couple of seconds.

The home base for Mike’s Hot Honey is Paulie Gee’s pizzeria in Greenpoint, which not only sells the sauce over the counter, but also showcases its versatility by drizzling it over pizza and ice-cream (apparently, it’s even better with ricotta on toast). Unfortunately, neither Mike’s nor any of its US competitors, such as MixedMade’s Bees Knees Spicy Honey or Negley & Son Spicy Honey, have yet made their way to Britain, although you can buy Mike’s online if you’re prepared to wait and don’t mind splashing out (it’s $10 for the honey and $24 for shipping). For the moment, it seems that Britain has only one hot(ish) honey product, courtesy of Hilltop Honey. However, the company likens its honey infused with chilli to sweet chilli sauce, which suggests that it doesn’t quite pack the heat of its US counterparts.

Mead

Gosnells London Mead.
Gosnells London Mead. Photograph: PR company handout

When it is time to put out the fire in your mouth, honey has the answer once again. Mead, AKA honey in alcohol form and the oldest alcoholic drink in the world (as well as being the source of the word “honeymoon”, from the pagan tradition of drinking mead for the first month of marriage), is enjoying a revival after years of being dismissed as beer’s daggy medieval cousin.

This restarted in the US, with more than 200 meaderies popping up in the past decade. And although Britain’s mead market has been slower to pick up, the arrival of Peckham-based Gosnells London Mead on the scene last year, joining stalwarts such as the Cornish Mead Co, seems significant. The drink is made via a similar fermentation process to cider, with apple juice swapped for honey. By substantially reducing the alcohol content from the traditional 16% to 5.5%, Gosnells offers a lighter and more accessible version, which found an immediate fanbase at Maltby Street market in London, The Table in Cambridge and Timberyard in Edinburgh, where it is served straight or in cocktails with gooseberry, sorrel stem, quail egg and vodka. Mead has also been championed by chefs such as Simon Rogan and René Redzepi. Signs are promising.

Between sending you crazy, spicing up your life and cooling everything down again, it seems that honey – in all its forms – has plenty of buzz about it.

Source: TheGuardian


Black Burger

Burger King launches black burger in Japan – and no, it’s not just burnt

The chain’s goth-like burger, with black buns, black cheese and black sauce, is a bizarre addition to the menu. But it’s not the only food to go back to black

Burger King’s black burger, with bamboo charcoal. Photograph: Burger King

It may look like leftover burnt scraps of a late-summer barbecue, stuffed with melted tyre fillings, but this bizarre black combination is just Burger King’s latest menu option for Japan.

The incinerated-looking buns are darkened with bamboo charcoal, and the same has been used to give the poisonous-looking cheese its melted-tar look. The beef burgers, meanwhile, have added black pepper, and are topped with an onion and garlic sauce mixed with squid ink.

The international chain says it is the third time it has released a goth-like burger (the others had black buns and black ketchup) and diners have so far given them a “favourable reception.”

Strange as they seem, however, Burger King’s Kuro Pearl and Kuro Diamond are not the first black burgers around.

The Spanish dish arroz negre, a rice casserole made with squid ink. Photograph: Alamy Photograph: Alamy

Source: TheGuardian Read and see more


This Is Disgusting

And the Food Sounds Gross Too

“It is by now generally understood, at least in the sound money community, that inflation is much higher than the government admits and that the true extent of the problem is being hidden in various ways. But the specifics keep getting more and more disturbing. Here’s a recent Phoenix Capital note (via Zero Hedge) on the adulteration of our “food.”
 
Last week we noted that inflation has already entered the economy. It isn’t showing up in nominal price hikes because it never does at first… As we noted last week… Let’s be clear here… inflation does NOT mean prices have to move higher in nominal terms. The reason for this is because companies cannot and will not simply raise prices overnight. Consumers will not simply put up with the cost of a good going up time and again.
 
So don’t look for the cost of an item to necessarily go straight up in nominal terms. This can happen, but more often than not, corporations engage in a number of different strategies to maintain profit margins without raising prices. These strategies include:
 
1) Shrinking the box/package of the good, thereby selling less for the same amount. 2) Not filling the package all the way; again selling less for the same amount. 3) Changing what’s considered a “serving size” or the quantity of good being sold. 4) Swapping in lower quality ingredients, thereby selling a lower quality good for the same amount.
 
Companies have been doing all of these since 2008. Most recently however, costs have risen to the point that these strategies won’t cut it anymore. Consequently, we’re starting to see prices going up across the board.
 
Regarding #4, Burger King was caught putting wood pulp in its burgers. There may be more fiber in your food than you realized. Burger King, McDonald’s and other fast food companies list in the ingredients of several of their foods, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) or “powdered cellulose” as components of their menu items. Or, in plain English, wood pulp.
 
The emulsion-stabilizing, cling-improving, anti-caking substance operates under multiple aliases, ranging from powdered cellulose to cellulose powder to methylcellulose to cellulose gum. The entrance of this non-absorbable fiber into fast food ingredients has been stealthy, yet widespread: The compound can now be found in buns, cheeses, sauces, cakes, shakes, rolls, fries, onion rings, smoothies, meats—basically everything.
 
The cost effectiveness of this filler has pushed many chains to use progressively less chicken in their “chicken” and cream in their “ice cream.” McDonald’s ranks highest on the list with cellulose integrated into 14 of their menu items including their renowned fish fillets, chicken strips and biscuits, with Burger King ranking second on the list with 13 menu items containing cellulose. Moreover, many cellulose-laden ingredients (such as honey mustard, bbq sauce, and cheese blends) can be found in multiple items throughout the menu making the filler difficult to avoid.
 
One has to wonder… just how high are real costs that a food company substitutes wood pulp for meat?
 
One also has to wonder… just how accurate is the CPI or any government inflation metric that looks primarily at nominal pricing? The simple answer to that one is “not accurate at all.” Inflation is a reality. Firms around the world are doing whatever they can to maintain profits while keeping costs low. Using wood pulp instead of meat in burgers is just one more trick.
 
We’ll be seeing more stories like this in the coming months. I wouldn’t be surprised if food companies everywhere have been resorting to similar strategies.
 
Some thoughts: Anyone who eats (or allows their kids to eat) modern fast food pretty much gets what they deserve in any event. But it’s still upsetting to see it spelled out. And this, of course, is just the tip of a very big, very unappetizing iceberg. Click here for an amazing (but not surprising) example of Coca Cola Company selling “pomegranate blueberry juice” that has just 0.5% of those juices combined.
 
Companies have always tried these kinds of tricks, which is why even some libertarians accept the existence of truth-in-advertising laws. But lately the pressure on even generally honest companies (as opposed to those mentioned above) has become overwhelming, as the government generates real inflation in the 6% range while reporting only 2%. In this supposedly low-inflation world a store or manufacturer can’t raise prices sufficiently to cover its rising costs and is left with few palatable options. So a growing number of them are choosing lower quality, deceptive packaging and secrecy. This, in short, is yet another way in which an unlimited fiat currency printing press corrupts a society.”

Source: Running ‘Cause I Can’t Fly

 


Image

Frackin’ with Our Beer

warningGermany


Who, what, why:

What happens if you eat 112-year-old ham?

A ham in the US said to be the oldest in the world has celebrated its 112th birthday. Can it really be edible after all this time, asks Tom de Castella.

It was first cured by the Gwaltney meat company in 1902, forgotten about at the back of a storage room, and eventually donated to the Isle of Wight County Museum in Smithfield, Virginia. Today it looks like a piece of old leather. A special case protects it from bugs and mould, and it is billed the world’s oldest edible cured ham. “It would be dry, dry tasting, but it’s not molded,” curator Tracey Neikirk told the Wall Street Journal.

Dry curing – salting the meat and draining the blood – allows ham to last and develop a richer flavour. But most hams are only aged for a year or two. Not 112. “After such a long time and without knowing how the ham was processed it’s difficult to know whether it would be safe,” a Food Standards Agency spokesman says. To most people “edible” means more than the ability to eat something without it killing you. “Jamon iberico of four to five years is amazing,” says Jose Pizarro, owner of Pizarro, a Spanish restaurant in London.” The oldest edible ham he’s heard of is eight years old. After that the fat starts to oxidise and the flavour disappears from the meat. A rancid taste develops as the yellow fat diffuses, and as the decades pass it will become as hard as a stone and incredibly ugly, he says.

And then there’s the question of whether the Virginia museum’s really is the oldest. In 1993, Michael Feller, a butcher in Oxford, bought a ham at auction that was 101 years old. It looked “rather yukky” but was edible, although he wasn’t going to cut into it. Today it hangs in the shop window, unnibbled at the ripe old age of 122. Food writer Jay Rayner is unmoved by the battle for the title of oldest ham. “I’d be suspicious of anyone getting excited about the former back end of a pig that’s been hanging around for 112 years.” Wine and spirits offer a better bet. He remembers drinking a “rather lovely” 1865 armagnac. It had aged well – “deep and toasty” – but the real attraction was not its flavour, he concedes. It was “that link with antiquity”. Which perhaps explains the birthday party for a shrivelled up piece of pork.

Source: BBCNews


For the love of lard

Why fat is back on the menu

Lard is being smeared on sourdough, draped over scallops and boiled up for triple-cooked chips – and it might even be good for us. Are you a fan of pig fat?

Lardo di colonnata, the fanciest of fats. Photograph: Alamy

You’ve got to love food fashion. Just an arrhythmic heartbeat ago, or so it seems, lard was the artery-clogging work of the devil. These days, if you’re not scoffing whipped fat on sourdough, you’re just not keeping up.

I realise that not all of us are lauding lard, but there’s no denying it’s having a “moment”. Across the land, lard – aka solidified pig fat – is being draped over seafood, smeared on toast, flung on pizza and boiled up for triple-cooked chips.

Before the second world war, Britons couldn’t get enough of the stuff, of course. But concerns that it travelled straight from lips to hips, furring our arteries in the process, saw it slither from favour. Privately, chefs have always loved lard for its flavour and versatility – it produces heavenly pastry and crispy, flavoursome tatties – but until recently it has been their dirty little secret. So what’s changed to bring this love for lard out of the closet?

The trend for nose-to-tail dining – eating all parts of the animals we kill for human consumption – has something to do with it. But our views about eating animal fat are also changing. While the official line on saturated fat (the type found in meat and dairy) remains to limit our intake, a growing body of evidence is challenging the accepted wisdom that animal fat increases the risk of heart attack and disease. Some writers such as Gary Taubes, the author of Why We Get Fat, even argue that lard can be good for us. So with the heat off fat, and sugar taking its place in the firing line, it seems we’re enjoying a lardy binge.

Marianne Lumb, the chef and owner of Marianne restaurant, loves lard, especially the fanciest of fats, lardo di colonnata (back fat from Tuscan pigs). “I think it’s so popular in my kitchen because it is so versatile,” she says. “We introduced lardo di colonnata in our canapés by slicing it very thinly and using it instead of rice paper to wrap mint, radish and carrots. I also use it on a scallop dish, again sliced very thinly, and I gently blowtorch it so it goes translucent. It offers delicious flavour and also a real visual treat to a dish.”

She says customers need no persuading when it comes to ordering a dish garnished with fat, although she concedes description is key. “My front of house, Francesca, pronounces lardo di colonnata in perfect Italian, which makes it sound irresistible, compared to just ‘lard’!”

Lardo, pig butter, prosciutto bianco, salo – call it what you will, I love it all, from the herb-infused, whisper-thin posh stuff to the discards nicked from other people’s plates after a steak supper (yes, my family is repulsed).

But I do wonder what my late granny – who used to fondly recall the bread-and-dripping austerity suppers of her childhood – would make of our growing appetite for chic lards and drippings. I’m fairly sure she would have had a good chuckle at my recent experience at the Guild of Fine Food Great Taste awards, where I and other judges were asked to ruminate on a selection of fancy fats. As delicious as they were, I reckon Granny would opt for the stuff scooped from the bottom of the roasting pan – along with the all-important meat crud – any day.

What about you? Do you like your food draped in fat? Or is fat a food fad too far?

Source: The Guardian


Orange wine

Tastier than it sounds

This image not part of the original article

This image not part of the original article

A guide to the best of the winemaking style that offers new flavours, as well as colours

Orange wines? If you’ve not come across them before, you could be forgiven for thinking I’ve made them up. It sounds like something an ambitious but clueless marketing person would come up with having sized up wine’s annoyingly limited colour palette and convinced their bosses what Generation Y really want is a brand new colour of drink.

In fact, if you listen to orange wine’s (many) detractors, the artisanal producers of this niche but, in sommelier circles, very on‑trend style of extreme white are more cynical than any corporate producer. Orange wines, those critics say, are an emperor’s new drink, a way of passing off faulty, cloudy, dirty brews as an authentic, avant-garde and, of course, expensive way for credulous enthusiasts to express their individuality.

I sympathise with the critics, but only up to a point. There can be something offputting about being served an orange wine if you’re expecting a conventional white. It’s not just the colour, which can be amber or a brick-like pink. It’s the challenge they present to our idea of what white wine should look like.

But for fans of the style – and I’d now count myself among them – the colour and appearance are the least interesting thing about them. There is a combination of flavours in the best examples – orange pith, spice, cherries, nuts, pears and Campari-like bitter herbs – that you just don’t get in other wines. Even more arresting are the textures: there is tannin and grip like a red wine, but less weight and density. The palate is enlivened with the mineral, mouthwatering acidity and tension of a white wine.

This best-of-both worlds feel is not surprising: orange wine is essentially white made using the principles you’d use to make a red. The key is the skins: whereas most white wines are separated from their skins and pips immediately after the grapes are pressed, orange wines take grapes used for white wine and, like a red, leave them macerating in contact with their skins.

It’s how most white wines used to be made but its renaissance is relatively recent, driven by pioneers such as Josko Gravner and Stanko Radikon in Friuli, north-east Italy. Disenchanted by the overly technical approach of modern winemaking, they began experimenting in the 1990s with long macerations using, in Gravner’s case, clay amphorae. The arrestingly different wines they made spawned imitators in his home region and across the border in Slovenia. Along with Georgia, where the style is also enjoying a revival, those regions remain the source of the best orange wines. But adventurous producers around the world are also beginning to experiment.

Not all of them are successful: orange winemaking is more risky. And you get the sense that many producers are still learning to master what is still, despite its ancient roots, a new technique.

Done right, a good orange wine’s combination of textures works well when matching with food. There’s substance enough for meat, the freshness required for fish – and the combination of the two makes them among the best I’ve come across for aged hard cheese.

The wines might take a bit of getting used to – and since they’re usually made in small quantities by small producers they don’t come cheap. But if you’re curious, try a glass in a natural wine bar before committing to a bottle – and keep an open mind.

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What next?

Cronuts, duffins – and now the waffogato

The latest double-whammy of a dessert is the waffogato – a combination of waffle-shaped ice-cream with maple syrup espresso. Is there no end to this crossover creativity?

The waffogato, brought to us by New York bakery Dominique Ansel.

Dominique Ansel is at it again. The Heston Blumenthal of the New York bakery scene, who previously brought us the cronut – half-croissant, half-doughnut – has unveiled his latest hybrid: the waffogato.

A cross between a waffle and affogato (an Italian dessert of ice-cream with an espresso poured over it), it comprises a waffle-shaped block of ice-cream to which a hot maple syrup espresso is added, so that the ice-cream melts, liberating pieces of Belgian waffle and, erm, tapioca.

“It’s a little like a milkshake at the end,” Ansel told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week, before unveiling the waffogato at a fundraising dinner. It goes on sale at his eponymous SoHo bakery from 9 May.

You may raise a sceptical eyebrow at all this, perhaps feel a little queasy at the mere mention of tapioca, but do not be surprised if, this time next month, waffogato variations are everywhere.

Not all Ansel’s ideas translate – for instance, serving milk in edible chocolate cookie “glasses” was a bit too Happy Days to go global – but Ansel’s cronut inspired a worldwide wave of genetic baking mutations, not to mention a flurry of controversy.

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