We have a real treat for Sku's Recent Eats readers this week. Esteemed food critic Jonathan Pyrite, the only food critic to have been awarded a Nobel Prize, has agreed to answer questions from our readers. I'd like to thank Mr. Pyrite for taking time out of his busy schedule of Tweeting in order to do this.
Dear Mr. Pyrite:
Where can I find a good bowl of oatmeal in this town?
--Ken T., Culver City
Dear Mr. T.:
In the Sükhbaatar district of Ulan Bator there is a stand that sells steaming bowls of cat livers in a porridge made from a reduction of the cat's own blood, urine and vomit. Sluiced in the viscous, bloody porridge, each liver has the tender texture of a snail in utero. The crush of patrons wrangling to get a bowl of this offal surprise before dawn is reminiscent of the 2:00 am line at Oki Dog after an X concert in 1982. Speaking of urine, in the outskirts of Marseille, the local townspeople feast on dehydrated tortoise kidneys rolled in sugar as a late night snack, a ubiquitous dessert as beloved in the French countryside as candy corn on Halloween.
But until Nancy Silverton opens an oatmeal shop, I'm partial to the porridge at the old Oh's Diner in West Covina with its succulent version of this staple, glistening in the bowl under a tangy melange of milk and syrup and just a dash of heavy cream from the metal counter pitchers which when cool, stood regally on their saucers, studded with tiny beads of condensation. Oh's was the standard for porridge in West Covina until it closed in the late 80s, but its memory is undeniably delicious.
The Aaruul & Cat Livers Shack: Bumbugur Market, Sükhbaatar, Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Oh's Diner: 4522 Merced Ave., West Covina, circa 1986.
Readers, if you have questions for Mr. Pyrite, send us an email.