Dirt soup, anyone? How about some salad with dirt dressing or a portion of dirt risotto?
Before you say “Yes please!”, make sure you’ve budgeted for these apparent delicacies, because a new full course menu of dirt-inspired items at Tokyo French restaurant Ne Quittez Pas will set you back a whopping 10,000 yen or $112.
According to Japanese news site Rocketnews24, the chef at the restaurant once won a high profile cooking contest with his dirt sauce, so a full menu of soil-infused courses was apparently the next logical step. The dirt is a special black soil from Kanuma, Tochigi Prefecture and has been tested for safety and purity, whatever that means.
The first course is a potato starch and dirt soup served in a shot glass rimmed with salt, and is reportedly way better than it sounds. Apparently it doesn’t have “a dirty flavour at all.”
The second course of salad with dirt dressing “tasted so little of the earthiness I was expecting that I’d kind of forgotten about that ingredient,” writes the reviewer.
And for the main course, “An aspic made with oriental clams and the top layer of sediment, and a dirt risotto with sauteed sea bass and burdock root.” Yum! Apparently it isn’t yeasty at all.
Dessert is dirt ice cream and dirt gratin followed by dirt mint tea that reportedly looks like puddle water.
As bizarre as all this sounds, eating dirt may actually make some biological sense.
Intentionally eating dirt actually has a name — geophagy — and research published in The Quarterly Review of Biology suggests it could have protective qualities to the digestive system.
Some people have a compulsion to eat dirt, an urge that is categorized as a mental disorder called Pica in North America, but that is an activity seen as normal among certain peoples of the world, including men in Madagascar.
But even if eating dirt isn’t as crazy as it sounds, paying $112 to do so certainly is.