Much has been written about the obesity epidemic in America, and tomorrow certainly isn’t going to do anything to alleviate that. But the least we can do is eat one food at a time.
Over the past decade or so, the same American ingenuity that once gave us civilization-changing inventions like the light bulb and Post-it Notes® has been redirected toward helping us overeat as efficiently as possible while ensuring that we don’t burn off too many calories by having to eat our various foods separately. That is why, for instance, we have things like KFC’s Mashed Potato Bowl, described thusly on their website:
We start with a generous serving of our creamy mashed potatoes, layered with sweet corn and loaded with bite-sized pieces of crispy chicken. Then we drizzle it all with our signature home-style gravy and top it off with a shredded three-cheese blend. It’s all your favorite flavors coming together.
Don’t you think they missed a huge opportunity by not serving that whole thing in one of those edible taco bowls?
But I’m not here today to talk about KFC’s apparent desire to kill its customers. I’m here to talk about Russian Doll food.
Like the traditional Communist toys that hid one crappy doll inside another, Russian Doll food puts different foods inside one another. Luckily, Russian Doll food does not originate in Russia, or we’d be eating caviar inside of blini inside of jellied boiled meat.
No, Russian Doll food is an all-American invention. It began with the granddaddy of all layered cuisine, the turducken: a hen inside a duck inside a turkey. Of course, that in itself is too simple and not fattening enough, so each bird is filled with a different stuffing. And, obviously, each bird has had its bones removed or it would have run away before getting involved in such a thing.
Now, one of the most American attributes of all besides large waistlines is our desire to copy things that are successful. This is why we have approximately 4,278 brands of bottled water and way too many TV shows about real housewives. So almost as soon as the first turducken hit the table (and possibly crashed through it), there were imitators.
There is the veggieducken: leeks inside a sweet potato inside a banana squash, and let me tell you, it looks as good as it sounds. Not only do vegetarians miss out on the best part of a turducken, namely the meat, they also miss out on the second best part, namely the naming of it. I mean, why is it a veggieducken? It’s not a hen inside a duck inside a horrifyingly humongous vegetable. It should be a Squapoleek or something like that.
After awhile, nearly every type of cuisine got into the act. My favorite one of these is fictional: the turbriskafil from The Big Bang Theory (gefilte fish inside brisket inside turkey).
Nonfictionally,* from the Italian province of Nuoro (literally, “We eat too much”) we have the superducken, which is (I swear) a young bull, stuffed with a kid (a goat, I’m assuming), stuffed with a piglet, then a hare, then a partridge, and then an unspecified “small bird.” If they had invented this in Biblical times, Noah wouldn’t have needed an ark; he could have just eaten all the animals. I can only believe that whoever carves this thing uses a chainsaw.
Someone has also invented a seafood turducken (crab cake inside flounder inside lobster, and topped with shrimp) and, frankly, does anyone really want to eat anything that has this step in the recipe:
“Take a handful of the crab mixture and form it into a small ball. Place the crab…”
Why do we stuff stuff in other stuff?/If not we can’t eat it fast enough.
“… cake on the flounder fillet and roll the fillet around the crab. (Then) tuck two stuffed fillets into each cavity of each lobster.”**
And, again, these people really have to name their dishes after what’s in them. Craflolo, for instance, in the case of the seafood thing. Or, um, Bukipihapasmird, in the case of the one where people eat an entire petting zoo.
The Cherpumple has the naming thing down pat. It was created specifically to be the dessert after a satisfying turducken main course. It’s a cherry, an apple and a pumpkin pie, each surrounded by a different kind of cake and baked inside one another. Its creator suggests you serve it flambé, which I think is extremely dangerous since no one in attendance is going to be in any condition to flee from a burning house.
Next year, we might have to give the cherpumple a try, since it’s looking like our preferred Thanksgiving dessert, the Snodinkie, will no longer be available.***
Well, whatever you’re having for dinner tomorrow, have a wonderful holiday.
See you soon.
*Unless the website I found it on is one of those sites where everything is made up in the hope that stupid people will believe it and pass it along as real.
**In case you were thinking that there is some sort of typo in this recipe instruction, remember that you’re reading a Bloquopo: a poem inside a quote inside a blog.
***This, of course, is a Twinkie inside a Ding Dong inside a Sno-ball, then fried and covered in hot fudge. I just made this up as a tribute to Hostess, but, it sounds really…well about as good as that KFC Mashed Potato thing.