The Snacking Dead: A Parody Cookbook by D.B. Walker published by Random House of Canada made me laugh. And want to scream! A fictional story about the zombie apocalypse woven between recipes like Nacho World No More and Gory Red Grinder… this is a cookbook like no other. The story was horrific, entertaining and gruesome but how was the food?
As I said in my video (3 minutes in) this is a very niche market of a cookbook, good for sci-fi freaks like me who have a pantry dedicated to the coming zombie apocalypse. As promised, I did end up making the pickled shrimp which turned out quite delicious!
Please note: I made 1/3 of the recipe but will write it out in full for you here
In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine 1 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, juice of 1 lemon, 1 fennel bulb thinly sliced, 1 peeled garlic clove, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns and 1 tsp coarse kosher salt.
Bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Add 1 pound 16-20 count shrimp, peeled, deveined (and raw which they did not note in the recipe).
Stir and let shrimp cook for 30 seconds.
Transfer shrimp and liquid to a container and let cool to room temperature.
I put everything in a mason jar. Add zest of one lemon, 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley, 2 tbsp finely chopped basil, 1 tbsp finely chopped fennel fronds and 1 tbsp finely chopped dill.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to overnight.
I used an all natural pickling vinegar so my shrimp were quite delicately flavoured except for the dill, which was seriously strong. I wanted to make shrimp fajitas but knew that the dill would not be compatible with salsa. I skipped the salsa, topped the shrimp with a PC hard goat cheese and their avocado mayo and it was delicious! And I was right, this would never have worked with the salsa.
In its own bizarre and weird way, this is a gorgeous cookbook. Lots of time and energy went into creating something completely new with a very cool Walking-Dead-like aesthetic. The photographs that accompany the recipes are hysterical sometimes and some are very creepy but they are all very professional which impressed me. This cookbook made me laugh and it made me wince.
I thought the seriousness of the fictional story that ran through the book to be a tad distracting next to the humour of the photos and recipe names. I understand what they were trying to accomplish, a hybrid of a book, but I personally would have preferred to have all the photographs for the recipes with the recipes instead of being given to the story a lot of the time.
Still, I enjoyed the book and even though a lot of the recipes seem a little too simple for me, the humour and the creative factor rocked. As a result, I give The Snacking Dead four out of five wooden spoons. Definitely not for everyone but a great starter cookbook for the zombie apocalypse obsessed foodie out there.