Object 64

Euphoric Gastronomy

2041, Berlin, Germany

Excerpts from Euphoric Gastronomy, a popular cookbook from 2041 that marked the shifting attitudes towards mind-altering substances:

INTRODUCTION

The purpose of a meal is not simply to sate our hunger. We want something that will spark an emotion, something that will leave a memory. Our total mastery over carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and spices, hard won from millennia of experimentation and exploration, is mundane from a biological perspective — but marvellous from a human one.

Our armoury of culinary tools now extends to bioreactors, tailored meat, tweaked plants, and tastebud mapping. If we are willing to go to such lengths to create 'perfect' gastronomic experiences, why ignore those other substances that can more directly alter our emotions and memories?

I have spent most of my life exploring how psychoactive drugs can be combined with food, to stunning effect. Of course, I owe much to earlier generations who made their first faltering steps with drugs such as alcohol and cannabis, but my team’s first experiments with molecular sims and MRI scans in the 30s have allowed us to move far beyond those hazy, muddled days.

Thanks to our work at Kreuzberg's, 'euphoric gastronomy' has become extremely fashionable. While I have never liked this term, as it implies that the combination of recreational drugs with food is mere frivolity, it is adequate enough. What I am more concerned about is bringing euphoric gastronomy out of the elite halls and restaurants of the world and into people's homes.

There is nothing difficult about performing simple euphoric gastronomy. With some effort and discipline, one may become quite proficient in tailoring the right drugs to the right food. In this book and its accompanying simulations, I will show you how to create heretofore unimaginable culinary experiences.

HISTORY

If we were somehow transported 30 years into the past, I would most likely have been fined or imprisoned for having written this book. Thankfully, most countries have become more sane in the intervening period, what with the widespread decriminalisation and legalisation of drugs beginning in the late 20s and early 30s.

Quite predictably, legalisation at first led to a lot of silly experimentation, but the increased regulation and competition also improved the quality of drugs — not just in terms of safety and consistency, but the subjective experience as well. Without these advantages, euphoric gastronomy would be only a fringe movement.

The legalisation of drugs, however, did not mean that they suddenly became socially acceptable. Many people, particularly among the older, more closed-minded generations, continued to frown upon recreational drugs. Even today I am told there are some corporations that still routinely drug-test their employees. But these are isolated throwbacks; the changing shape of work and leisure has reduced the number of formally employed on-site workers and increased remote working, so these troglodytic restrictions apply to fewer and fewer people each year.

Some clowns, hoping to catch me out, will ask whether I allow my staff and collaborators to use recreational drugs while 'on the job'. The answer is: I don't care. If they are capable of doing the job I set them, they may take as many drugs as they wish — although I would hope that they are responsible enough to pay attention to their Lifelines and to be taking Securin or a similar addiction inhibitor. Whether they use drugs or sims or neurofeedback transcranial magnetic stimulation, if my staff turn up too sleepy to work, or too tired, or too drunk, or too high — they must go. I make no special exception for drugs.

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DESSERT

I find that the best way to introduce newcomers to euphoric gastronomy is through dessert. It's the most playful, light-hearted part of any meal, and as such, lends itself very well to being combined with drugs.

For beginners, I would suggest these three desserts:

Ecuadorian Dark Chocolate Souffle, with Tweaked Betel Leaf and Areca Nut

The heady, rich taste of the souffle will complement the relatively mild stimulant effect of the betel leaf and areca nut, long used in the tropical Pacific and Asia.

Sticky Toffee pudding, with Kava

Those with a sweet tooth will prefer this dessert, especially as the kavalactones in the Kava drink will offset the effect of the sugar with a pleasantly relaxing feeling. If you are unable to obtain kava, then standard benzodiazepines will also suffice.

Sierra Sunset Ice Cream, with Haifo

Haifo is a surprisingly complex and muscular tweaked opiate, so it needs to be paired with something that will numb the senses a little. We tried a number of ice cream flavours but found that the modern Buenos Aires recipe — suitably modified — worked extremely well with Haifo either crystallised on its surface or aerosolised with the 'mist'.

(Instructions to synthesise the unique chemicals mentioned above are attached to this book, compatible with all modern microarray reactors. Alternatively you can order all necessary ingredients to your location for delivery within 22 minutes.)