Youtube Recs (Sorta) – Kay’s Cooking

I’m warning you: if you are a gourmet of any kind, turn back now. What you are about to hear about will absolutely scar you for life and probably leave you with nightmares about blackened garlic and beef swimming in lard.

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate.

Okay, this is not so much a recommendation for the sake of enjoyment as for horrified fascination. It’s a channel devoted to the kitchen escapades of a British woman who… does things to food. I can’t say she “cooks,” because that would be a lie. What she does is not cooking. It might be some kind of food sacrifice to an angry god of food poisoning.

Imagine this: a woman sets out to make meatballs. Rather than follow the usual procedure of combining meat, breadcrumbs, spices and herbs, some egg, maybe a little cheese… and crushing them into tight little balls… she just tears off chunks of ground beef, dunks them in a thick coating of egg, and then plunks them in the pan, where they are left to overcook until they are deteriorating gray blobs swimming in their own juices that no person who isn’t starving should consider eating.

She uses copious amounts of lard, ground beef (often boiled… go ahead and cry now), poorly-chopped onion, lots of egg, sandwich meat, and so on, usually cooked at temperatures that volcanologists say are excessive. There is no moderation here – she cooks everything to hell, literally.

She also has kitchen safety practices that make me want to die, like constantly cutting towards her own thumb. She’s going to slice off her finger someday, and on that day, I will be there to shout “I told you so!”

I do have to warn you: I am not 100% sure that she is not just trolling everyone. A few of her video titles sound suspiciously like she is, and it’s kind of hard to believe that a woman in the late 2010s with Internet access couldn’t find good recipes online. Either she can’t/won’t follow recipes, or she’s cooking badly purposely, for the entertainment of the masses. I honestly do not know. If she is trolling, then her son is a master actor, though, because he voluntarily eats just about everything she cooks without flinching.

I do want to mention that I have seen people online arguing that there’s a class element to her food, and that the cheaper ingredients point to a low income in Britain’s lower classes. Therefore, they say, we should not judge her cooking so harshly.

I… disagree. The inexpensive ingredients she uses are not the problem; many good meals could be made from them by a person of any class who knows what they’re doing. It’s the handling of the ingredients that is hideously, insanely wrong, in a manner that – again – could exist in any class or economic level. You could give her Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen and pantry, and everything she cooked would still be deeply, fundamentally WRONG.

Speaking of Ramsay, he would probably have a stroke and die if he saw these videos, so nobody send them to him.

One thing that baffles me is when she was trying to make a Big Mac, and she argued that the different size and shape of the “patties” was because “they have machines” at McDonald’s. I don’t know how they do it at McDonald’s (I assume that Satanic magic and dead rodents are involved), but I’ve worked at a Five Guys, and we made every single burger patty by hand, and they were not giant round lumps of loose meat swimming in lard and falling apart.

Anyway, the only thing more wonderful than these food snuff films are the commentary channels offering their viewpoints on Kay’s Cooking. So by all means, check them out.

Tasting History – Youtube Recs

There are a lot of online cooking shows that focus on foods from other countries, or relatively obscure foods, such as EmmyMadeInJapan.

But I recently found out about a relative new Youtube show called Tasting History, which focuses on relatively obscure dishes… because they’re from centuries or even millennia ago, as well as often from different cultures. Ever had syllabub, a foodstuff that sounds like it was named by a drunken Wolverine? Wonder what King Alfred burned? Want to make super-historically-accurate tortillas? Want to know the authentic way to prepare the drink of Grecian heroes?

And our host doesn’t just show us how to prepare these dishes, he gives the history and context of the dishes, as well as highlighting the obscure ingredients that were common at the time. For instance, in one episode he prepares Parthian chicken, and not only explains the importance of the unusual ingredients like lovage and asafoetida, but also the significance and the societal role of the Parthian empire.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsaGKqPZnGp_7N80hcHySGQ

So give his videos a try, and be sure to subscribe if you like what you see. He seems like a cool guy, and I’m still checking out his backlog of videos.