In celebration of April Fool's Day, we're sharing what just might be the best food-related, April Fool's Day prank ever.
A while back, the jokesters at the British Library pulled a dastardly prank on the world's literate populace, which, sad to say, includes conspiracy theorists and people who engage in LARP.
Julian Harrison, the library's curator of pre-1600 historical manuscripts, wrote a blog post revealing the "discovery" of a "unicorn cookbook" in the British Library. Harrison, a smart cookie by anyone's definition, included statements of such apparent veracity that several members of the intelligentsia, including art historians, were fooled into believing the existence of "a long-lost medieval cookbook, containing recipes for hedgehogs, blackbirds, and even unicorns" was real.
We, of course, saw right through the faux story (cough, after a minute or two), and thought, What if unicorns were real? Would they taste like chicken? Knowing there are others much better suited to answer that question, we stopped thinking and reached out to local chefs for their opinion. Cesar Zapata from the Federal, Jacob Anaya from OTC, and even Norman Van Aken, the founding father of new world and fusion cuisines, not only gave us their opinion but also provided us with recipes.
Here's what the noted chefs had to say.
I would imagine that unicorn is buttery and tender. Aren't they massaged daily and fed Guinness?
Dish: Braised unicorn shoulder with smoked magic mushrooms, horn marrow demi, and pixie dust.
Unicorns' unique taste is similar to the more familiar protein of veal or rabbit due to its lean and tender texture. Unicorn should be cooked by layering light to bold flavors to showcase its natural taste. It is best prepared sous vide to ensure the delicate flavor and texture of the meat.
Dishes: Carpaccio of unicorn tenderloin, with shaved truffles, powered unicorn horn, pixie dust, and freshly picked four-leaf clovers.
Unicorn cort de bouf, with oven roasted marshmallow, Smurf red wine sauce, confit Fraggle Rock purple potato, and Land of the Lost Brussels sprouts.
Norman Van Aken
There is only one way a Unicorn could taste -- fabulous.
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Dish: "I would never take part in the extinction of one. I have either killed or been an accomplice in many deaths if truth be told. I say my prayers and then cook. But of all of the beasts to arrive to us via fables, it seems to be the sole one not conceived out of human fears," Van Aken says. "I cannot kill such a gifted purpose. And since the horn was believed to neutralize poisons, I would serve snake and have the unicorns join the guests of the table as a means to quell their concerns regarding the less glamorous, but perhaps equally fabulous, Mr. Snake.
"By the way, I did serve snake to a bunch of folks in Scottsdale once," Van Aken adds. "It was for a charity function that Bon Appétit magazine put on. The function took place during a golf tournament that many prominent chefs both conceived of dishes for and played in. The organizers asked us if we could conjure up food that was related to golf or the setting. Since it was in the desert and we warned to not go looking for errant golf balls well off the fairways due to the potential of snakes finding us, I came up with 'Snake and Eggs.'"
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