LETTERS FROM LONDON
2. THE WORM TURNS:
Self-taught culinary alchemist, Heston Blumenthal, of Michelin star/egg ice
cream/sous-vide steak/snail porridge fame was appalled to discover children
eating pizza at Europe’s largest children’s hospital.

Two years ago the chef was enlisted by the NHS to help improve its menus for
the little kiddies.

“Where’s the protein?” In the cheese. Too dreary to be part of Blumenthal’s
repertoire? “I was amazed that the NHS doesn’t view food as medicine. Not just
for nutritional benefit, but also for pleasure.” Medicine as medicine...right, food
as medicine... alright, food as pleasure...naturally, but medicine as pleasure...I
think not.

In this case pleasure was to be found in worms. Worms sprinkled on the
cheese and tomato pizza. “The kids loved it” Blumenthal announced with pride.

Only one child didn’t shriek in pleasure with the worm addition - but only
because he got a worm injected with tomato sauce (yummy). Heston explained:
"He said, 'It's not the worm - I don't like the ketchup'.”

“Hospital is a miserable place. You should do something at meal times to make
it feel like it’s a bit more of a celebration.” Dyed worms decorating cupcakes,
worms layered in lasagne, worm and dirt puds, wiggly worms sprinkled on
chips, worm sandwiches with mayonnaise. Just don’t let the little darlings watch
I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here trials.

In 2006 Blumenthal was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science by
The University of Reading for his dedicated research and commitment to the
exploration of culinary science. No mention of creepy-crawlies.

Children’s wormeries are available in pink or blue.


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