*rugenius in food+drink , 11:33

Feasting with Bompas & Parr- 11.27.12

feasting.jpg Here’s the latest from our resident zoologist and London based editor, Justine Aw.

Last night we attended a “Rumble in the Jungle” at the Barbican Centre, a celebration to mark the launch of Feasting with Bompas & Parr, the brand new cookbook from the dynamic duo of jellymongers Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, which follows their successful Cocktails and Jelly. Of course, to take it even further than the last - this cookbook plays music when you open it! (See the video on the next page… )

The celebrations included a steaming cauldron of tropical Guinness punch, a Ziggurat of Flavour, an array of exotic cocktails and some incredible botanicals such as the super shiny Pollia Condensata Berry and Sechuan button, which give an almost electrical sensation! An unbelievable feast for all senses for sure - take a look at all of the fun and more on the next page!

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Upon entering, we received ivy to make our own ‘Hair Wreaths of the Ziggurat’ before entering the gardens.

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Appropriately wreathed, we found ourselves in the transformed indoor gardens, complete with golden pigs’ heads.

bompas-parr-feasting-9048.jpg The centrepiece of the room was The Ziggurat which was well worth a climb as its pinnacle was topped with donuts (delicious!) and it was great fun to watch other guests in their quest for baked goods!

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bompas-parr-feasting-9071.jpg Donuts well worth the ascent!

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We chased our donuts down with warm, spiced drinks from the Steaming Cauldron of Guinness Punch (think along the lines of gorgeous mulled wine).

bompas-parr-feasting-9099.jpg The Barbican’s gardens made a magical venue for the launch.

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We then discovered the chilled Tropical Khat Cocktail (Captain Morgan rum, Khat Bitters, pineapple and other tropical juices and coffee essence). It was delicious and reminded me of an alcoholic version of the guava nectar I loved as a kid.

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There were also Pollia Condensata Berries on show, the shiniest living things known to man, which you may remember from NOTCOT.org. The berries were indeed, quite beautiful, but alas not for eating, unlike their neighboring buds!

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The Sechuan buttons were an incredible experience. These tiny buds of the Acmella oleracea plant, which is native to northern Brazil. The buds were served up alongside a shot of mango juice (in case the flavor got too intense). When you bite into one, it first just tastes a bit grassy, not surprising as they are buds and the plants are related to daisies. However, the feeling quickly turns to a sort of numbing tingly, an almost electric taste! It’s quite disconcerting, but delightfully novel too and it definitely makes you salivate.

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bompas-parr-feasting-9075.jpg A very Bompas & Parr photo op?

bompas-parr-feasting-9077.jpg Our first look at the new book!

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And as for what’s inside the book, Bompas and Parr tell us: “Our next cookbook is so hairy and muscular it includes an investigation into spontaneous combustion, glitter ham, a chronicle of feasting since the dawn of time, phallic ice sculptures, techniques for feeding 8 to 33,000 people and the surprisingly sensitive mixed drinks of Aleister Crowley. There are also compelling recipes and a whole section on snakes vs cocktails.” Who could resist a combination like that!?!

We managed to pick up a special edition copy, complete with it’s own dramatic intro music!

A few of our favorites include the Bush of Crayfish in Viking Herbs, Neon Marbled Jelly, Lanvin Meringue (for 33,000 people and using a mere 8,333 egg whites and half of a tonne of sugar!), Tentacle Martini and Seattle Dutch Baby.

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