No more jokes about precious food. The new food joke is on all you real men who made fun of fancy restaurants serving tiny dabs of delicate delicacies. At the best of the new American restaurants you'll feel like Anthony Bourdain in Namibia staring at a plate of fried rodents' anuses. Only you're the asshole. You should have enjoyed the microgreens while you had the chance. Now you have to eat offal.
Eating the whole animal is the new thing. You must honor its sacrifice, its humane slaughter after years of coddling by kindly organic farmers, by eating hunks of its lowest, innermost or most extreme parts. Are you as squinty tough as Jim Harrison, well are you punk? That's the question posed by the new upscale-downbeast restaurants like Incanto in San Francisco.
As my wife delighted in a risotto made with duck tongues and cocks' combs (roosters' secondary sex characteristics, she called them, as if disappointed in not savoring the primary), I stared down the blackened vertibrae of a roasted lamb's neck. It was Alien meets CSI San Francisco, Special Gourmet Unit. I passed the gag test and indeed it was great, once the collagenoidal hunks of meat (honored by being roasted perfectly medium rare) were pried from the nooks and crannies of the bone and gristle that once supported little lambikins' cute head.
There was so much meat in there that, alas, I was forced to skip a morsel of rooster sex characteristic proffered by my wife. Okay, I wimped out. In my own defense, earlier I had scoffed up, tongue and jowl (mine and its), jellied pig head. The restaurant and I prefer to call it porchetta di testa. Testing the pig, I think it means.
I was tested, and found offal not so gawdawful. But good, as the old song about moose turd pie has it. That, by the way, will be one fad too far.