Tuesday, July 5, 2011

When Taste Is Out of Sight

Here's a lesson in what doesn't necessarily look good (or photograph well) might actually be quite tasty. And that's not just because this was dish #2 at a beer dinner recently on June 17 as the opening salvo of Salute! in Ojai. But what you see here is sort of an exploded tamale (torpedoed tamale?), or, as it was billed, "sauteed lobster and sweet corn, with truffle oil, mandarin oranges, chive butter, and a curry cream sauce." Now chunks of stuff in a somewhat shockingly yellow sauce might not appear to be appealing, but sometimes you've got to let other senses but sight take the lead when you eat, you know. For the smell was lovely--somehow not too much of truffle oil, which usually seems to me like the Axe cologne mushrooms must wear when they want to seem all upscale--but more of that curry sauce, all those good Indian spices, turmeric-ally bound. Somehow that worked with the mandarins, that could seem to sweet for the dish, but weren't, but did offer orange's more open citrus taste (lemon and lime seem to close down to me at times, if that makes sense). And then lobster and corn work well, somehow elegant and homey all at once. Wash it down with the Dr. Bill chosen Ommegang Gnomegang and you're a happy camper, promise.

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