For a lot of publications, food writing is often about the illusion of glamour and making readers feel like they are left out of a cool kids party. Back when I freelanced more often, I was able to go to fancy events with fancy food. I took pretty photos for pieces I wrote, and sometimes when I wanted to feel like a more interesting person than I am, I would put photos up on Facebook and Twitter. It made people jealous of my food writer lifestyle.
Really, you are at awkward parties with rich people who think chefs are gods. It is very strange. I cook at home, and you cook at home, even if it’s just a frozen pizza. Sometimes the fanciest food on the planet does not taste anywhere as good as a frozen pizza when you are forced to listen to someone brag about how they took a trip to the ass-end of Iceland, just so they could get a bite of rotten shark from a 22 year old chef who has tattoos and a funny haircut.
Also, some food writers are really weird people. Some are very nice. Some are just in it for the freebies — those are often bloggers who use a lot of exclamation points in their writing, and most of their photos are selfies and maybe a few blurry food photos with their fingers over the lens. That type is generally not to be trusted. They like to make you feel really bad about the fact that you ate an Oscar Mayer ham sandwich for lunch. There is nothing wrong with an Oscar Mayer ham sandwich.
If you are ever feeling low about the fact that you don’t go to these parties, then just imagine a bunch of jerkoffs in a room together, farting constantly and sniffing each other’s farts while eating fancy food and name-dropping famous chefs. If that sounds silly, that’s because it is. And this is the really nonsensical intro to my experiment this week.
So the other day I had a big bowl of French onion soup, and it was delicious. But a few hours later, I found myself farting uncontrollably. Caramelized onions have a sugar that humans cannot digest, and so the sugars sit inside your warm moist body and ferment. When they ferment, the sugars create smelly gasses. Then, the smelly gasses come riotously out of your butt. That means you spend a long time farting. But along with farts, there is laughter. As I laughed to myself in the darkness of my closet, I thought, “Dannis, how can you maximize this joy and share it with the world?”
And thus, I came up with an experiment involving something I call “Fart Dip.”
But first I would have to try this experiment on myself to see if it would work.
I imagined myself at a fancy party where I served a magical delicious dip. It would be addictive and wonderful, but what people would not know is that every ingredient was picked to maximize flatulence. Then, a few hours later, everyone would secretly start farting uncontrollably and pass out. Everyone would be so embarrassed that all these dumb fancy food parties would go away forever.
With that inspiration, I did a lot of Internet research and found some of the top fart-inducing foods and decided to put them together into a single dish. And this is how Fart Dip was born.
I came up with the following ingredients: Butter beans (aka lima beans), cabbage, sour cream, prunes, and onions. Apparently lima beans are some of the fartiest of the legumes, cabbage contains sugars that ferment in your gut, sour cream is for the lactose intolerant, prunes have fiber and also make some people fart, and onions also have sugar that will give you gas. So basically these are fart ingredient superheroes.
I started by slicing the onions down with a mandoline, which is a good kitchen tool if you need to slice a bunch of things thinly and you don’t want to do it by hand. This was about 3 pounds of onions. I coated them in a little bit of olive oil and cooked them on medium heat.
Caramelizing onions takes a long time. If you cook them too fast, you won’t coax out the fart sugars, so you need to let them cook slowly. I have seen recipes on the Internet that claim you can caramelize onions in 20 minutes. Those people are numbnuts.
It took me almost two goddamn hours to get these onions cooked down. When you caramelize onions, eventually they take on a pretty brown color and they smell sweet and they get very small.
After the onions were done, I used the same pan to cook down the cabbage. I wanted to keep as many of the sugars as I could from the onions which is why I used the same pan.
If this looks suspiciously like cole slaw mix, that is because it is in fact, cole slaw mix. Cole slaw is mostly cabbage. In fact, the word “cole” refers to cabbage plants. Whip that fact out on your next Tinder date and you’ll be sure to have sex. What exactly is sex? The world will never know. And by “the world,” I mean “me.”
The cabbage took on a deep brown hue from the sugars remaining in the pan from the onion. Cooked cabbage smells like farts, which is a big step in the right direction. Your mother also smells like farts. It’s part of her charm.
After the onions and cabbage were cooked and cooled down, I put them in the food processor with a can of lima beans (including the liquid, containing valuable fart starches), a whole tub of sour cream, and prunes. I was already feeling sick just looking at it, which was a very good sign.
The resulting dip looked and smelled like thick vomit.
It was getting late, so I decided that Fart Dip was going to be my dinner. I choked down a whole cup of it. It, in fact, tasted like vomit. The vomit flavor mainly came from the caramelized onions, but mixing it with tart sour cream, pureed plain lima beans, farty cabbage, and poo-inducing prunes, drove the flavor over the cliff of Jesus-Christ-Why-Did-I-Do-This. There’s no way anyone would eat this at a party. This may have been one of the worst things I have ever made. But I was in it for science. I ate a bunch, felt sick, and went straight to bed.
I did not sleep well. It wasn’t because I was farting all night, I just felt sick to my stomach. There were definitely some more farts than my usual 3924234 a day (ladies, don’t come running all at once), but man, that was a bad idea. I don’t usually make myself sick with my own cooking so this was a true scientific learning experience.
The next day, unbeknownst to my coworkers, I brought another cup of Fart Dip to work and ate it for breakfast while trying not to throw up from its awful flavor. If I had to describe it in further detail, it tasted like hummus that has been mixed with French onion dip and sweet dried fruit. Not good. Since I’m getting let go from my job on Friday, I figured I could fart all I wanted. I didn’t even eat it with crackers this time. I just crammed it down my throat with a spoon which was one of the worst things I have ever done to myself. I immediately felt sick again.
And…it didn’t really work, again. This should have been the perfect fart storm! Perhaps I have a superhero-like tolerance to this kind of cooking. But all was not lost. I went to lunch by myself at a glorious place called Juan’s Chuck Wagon (it’s a real place, look it up), and while I was waiting for my food, I accidentally let out an enormous fart. There was a couple across the whole restaurant who both looked up from their plates of food and they stared at me. Once they resumed eating I did it again. They looked at me suspiciously. I pretended the wooden booth was creaky but truthfully, a creaking booth does not sound like the quacking sound of violent flatulence.
With science, progress comes one step at a time. This is only the first step. I will double back and try again until I get it right. I am determined to ruin a fancy party someday.
You guys have just witnessed the birth of a supervillain.