From the editor

Leave the gimmicks and try offal

We’re all apparently into ‘weird food’ according to Olive Magazine’s Cool List for 2013.

Vegetables dressed as dessert and mouldy food are among the things exciting us so far this year, as is food served on the offcuts of the restaurant fabric of slate and bricks. The list even refers to Hong Kong chef Alvin Leung’s HIV and AIDS awareness dish – a realistic edible used condom, filled with a Szcechuan sauce. The only good news to come out of this list is the reference to chicken gizzards.

But otherwise, these gimmicks are masquerading as food bravery, when really the braver challenge is trying food outside of our comfort zone, not necessarily found on a lickable brick in a high-end restaurant.

Animal parts are on our menu this month. Not just muscle, but everything but. Known as the fifth quarter in Italy, a supplement to the four quarters of the animal, it is the lesser loved but delightfully tasty holy grail of beasts. Why we still need to push the use of innards in Britain above microbial gastronomy and plates of protected sex is perhaps a puzzle we’ll never really solve. We enjoy being repulsed and perplexed by our food as long as it isn’t actually an eyeball I’m eating, but instead a cleverly constructed egg. Toughen up and feast on the real thing. That’s what makes a real foodie.