Hot Beef Sundae from April Fools’ Food: 10 Dishes That Aren’t What They Look Like

April Fools’ Food: 10 Dishes That Aren’t What They Look Like

Editor
These foods look like one thing, but are something completely different
Edible Stones

April Fools’ Food: 10 Dishes That Aren’t What They Look Like

April Fools’ Food: 10 Dishes That Aren’t What They Look Like

Photo Modified: Flickr/ Two Helmets Cooking/ CC4.0

You might not be familiar with the term “trompe l’oeil,” but it generally describes art that “plays with the eye” in some form or another, usually as a two-dimensional painting that looks three-dimensional. But the phrase also has a culinary use: for food that looks like one thing, but is in fact something completely different.

Beet Tartare

Beet Tartare

Flickr/ T.Tseng/ CC4.0

What started as a play on steak tartare (which is made with finely chopped raw beef) has become a popular dish in its own right. Beet tartare doesn’t just look almost exactly like beef tartare, it also transforms the carnivore classic into a vegetarian appetizer with unlimited flavor potential.

Cantaloupe Caviar

Cantaloupe Caviar
prezi.com

At his sadly now-closed elBulli, trailblazing chef Ferran Adrià introduced “cantaloupe caviar” to the menu in 2003. To make the caviar-shaped cantaloupe pearls, Adrià combined cantaloupe juice with sodium alginate using an immersion blender, then dripped the mixture drop by drop into a “calcium bath” (made by combining water with calcium chloride) using a syringe. The calcium was rinsed off, and the “caviar” was served with the center still liquid.

Deconstructed Spanish Omelette

Deconstructed Spanish Omelette
lennardy.com

elBulli blazed a lot of new territory in the modernist field, and many of Adrià’s dishes are legendary and iconic. His deconstructed Spanish omelette — a sherry glass with potato foam, onion purée, and egg-white sabayon topped with deep-fried potato crumbs — was one of the first dishes to introduce the world to culinary “deconstruction” (reducing a dish down to only its elements while maintaining all of its flavor), and very well might be one of the most revolutionary dishes in history.

Edible Stones

Edible Stones
Mugaritz

At Spain’s legendary Mugaritz, chef Andoni Luis Aduriz is serving a course of river stones. Or course, they’re not actual rocks — they’re potatoes. Aduriz boils small potatoes before dunking them into a mixture of kaolin (a type of edible clay), lactose (milk sugar), black dye, water, and salt and roasting them until the outside hardens. Just to play with guests’ heads a little more, they’re served with actual hot river stones!

Hot Beef Sundae

Hot Beef Sundae
Iowa Beef Council

Who says that a sundae needs to have ice cream? To make this state fair staple, just start with shredded beef, add a scoop of mashed potatoes to mimic ice cream, and drizzle on some gravy or barbecue sauce instead of chocolate syrup. As for the cherry on top? A cherry tomato, of course.

Meat Fruit

Meat Fruit
Andrew Chalk

When this legendary dish is brought to your table at chef Heston Blumenthal’s renowned Dinner, it looks exactly like a small orange. In fact, the “skin” is the only part of the dish that’s an actual orange; it’s molded from puréed mandarin orange. Cut into it and you’ll discover that the inside is actually creamy chicken liver pate.

Meatloaf Cake

Meatloaf Cake

Photo Modified: Flickr/ daveoratox/ CC4.0

While we wouldn’t advise replacing your wedding cake with it, it’s actually a whole lot of fun to eat meatloaf in cake form. Just make two “cakes” out of meatloaf, frost it with layers of mashed potatoes, and decorate it with ketchup, barbecue sauce, gravy, veggies, or any other accompaniment you can think of.

Spaghetti Ice Cream

Spaghetti Ice Cream

Photo Modified: Flickr/ Christian Cable/ CC4.0

Another state fair staple in the same vein as the hot beef sundae, this dish instead takes something sweet and makes it look savory. By feeding vanilla ice cream through an extruder, you end up with strands that are nearly identical to thick spaghetti. Spoon on some strawberry sauce instead of tomato sauce, mint instead of basil, and chocolate bonbons instead of meatballs, and you’re all set.

Spherified Olive

Spherified Olive

Photo Modified: Flickr/ Two Helmets Cooking/ CC4.0

The adaptation and elaboration of the industrial food technique of spherification at elBulli in 2003 was a turning point in molecular gastronomy. By immersing a liquid combined with sodium alginate in a water bath containing calcium, a perfect sphere was formed that burst with flavor when eaten, and this spherification process is a staple of modernist menus today. By reversing the process (inserting a liquid that already contains calcium into an alginate bath) Adrià was able to solve the problem of working with products that already contained calcium (like olives), and the Spherified Olive was born. The sphere closely resembles an olive and tastes exactly like high-quality olive oil, yet only contains liquid, so eating one of these is a paradigm-shifting experience for modernist newbies. While elBulli is no longer in operation as a restaurant, this dish is still available at all locations of Jaleo and Bazaar, run by Adrià’s protégé, José Andrés — though Andrés doubles the fun by serving his version alongside conventional Spanish olives.

Sunny Side Up Egg and French Fries

Sunny Side Up Egg and French Fries

This one’s perfect to make with the kids: Make a little puddle of yogurt or mascarpone cheese, stick one half of a canned peach or apricot in the middle, and voila! A sunny-side up egg. Serve it atop a slice of toasted pound cake for added effect, and alongside apples cut up to resemble French fries.