Is it Food?
The simple folk of Chrislip have never been known for their adventurous spirit when it comes to food. Attempts at introducing our bland palette to haute cuisine have come and gone over the years, as have various avant garde presentations. For instance, a local bar’s experiment to serve bourbon from a water pistol was unsuccessful. On the upside, this approach proved to be a self-correcting mechanism for alcoholics as it was difficult for bartenders to serve patrons who were too drunk to hold their head still.
Therefore it was a surprise when physics professor Austin Nicoletti announced that he would be the next entrepreneur to attempt to extend Chrislip’s gastronomic limitations. “I quickly realized that the problem with previous restaurants was that the food was too good,” said Professor Nicoletti. “Savory cuisine is wasted on these folks. When people in Chrislip go out to eat, what they really want is the same gruel that they’d get at home, but without the dirty dishes.”
Professor Nicoletti went back to his lab to develop a method to present the familiar in a new, but unthreatening way. What emerged would not be immediately recognizable as food, fine or otherwise, in the fancy restaurants of New York or Paris.
When making a reservation at Nicoletti’s, the diner drops off a Tupperware bowl filled with whatever he intends to eat that evening. When the customer is seated, the contents of the container are dipped into liquid nitrogen. The diner then shatters his frozen food with a mallet. The resulting pieces are then warmed in a microwave oven and are often so small that they don’t even need to be chewed.
“The beauty of this concept is that there’s no chef or menu,” said Nicoletti. “All I supply is the liquid nitrogen and the safety goggles. If the patron complains about the food, I just say ‘Hey, don’t look at me, you cooked it.’”