Exclusive Excerpt: “A Zest for Life”
Throughout Comfort Me with Offal, I have included some memorable stories from my own personal history in the world of food and wine. Here is an exclusive excerpt from the book in which I recount the unforgettable night I got gastrostoned with chef Mario Batali and learned the mind-bending pleasures of smoking tangerine zest for the very first time.
NEW YORK, New York
“Have you ever smoked mozzarella?” Mario asked, eyes twinkling as he cocked his head to the side.
“Never,” I told him. I’d eaten smoked mozzarella, but never made it myself.
“Well, then, you’ve got to try it,” he declared. “Come in the kitchen.”
So, I followed Mario over from the dining room to Babbo’s kitchen and into the walk-in, where he pulled out a tray full of beautiful white, glistening braids of mozzarella. He grabbed two of them and a paring knife, and I followed him back into the dining room.
“Now what?” I asked him, as he pulled out a massive bong.
“Now we smoke,” he said.