Featured Story
Recent Stories
Stories by Topic
News
Make the universe a better place! Support DSF with a donation:
small-go-arrowdonate
Take me to a...
Random story
top-rated stories only
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
small-go-arrowsearch
Sign up for free daily sci-fi!
your email will be kept private

Breaking News
Get a copy of Not Just Rockets and Robots: Daily Science Fiction Year One. 260 adventures into new worlds, fantastical and science fictional. Rocket Dragons Ignite: the anthology for year two, is also available!
Kindle Edition
Kindle Edition
DSF stories are available in monthly digests for Kindle!
DSF for Kindle
Publish your stories or art on Daily Science Fiction:
Submit your story
Check story status
Not just rockets & robots...
What is Science Fiction?
"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.
close






Snap of the Glove

Jennifer Sexton is a writer and artist living on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in VIA Magazine, several Seal Press anthologies, Inside Kung Fu, Qi Journal, Chatham Magazine, Cape Cod Magazine, The Cape Cod Times, The Barnstable Patriot, and many other publications. She was contributing editor and columnist for the now-defunct Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, and a contributing editor for Peripheral Surveys. She is a features writer for The Cape Cod Chronicle, an independent weekly newspaper. Her paintings are collected internationally.
Heavy Sci Magazine, the Journal of Leading-edge Food, Drink and Culture, presents a new gastronomic critique column: Periodic Tables for Two, by critic Astrid Ata, featuring the fearless inventions of the leading chef-researchers working in kitchen-labs across the city today. Today's debut review follows.
Bon appetit!
Periodic Tables for Two
Restaurant in Review:
Snap of the Glove
476 Alexander Court
Stop. You. Yes, you.
You, raising a fork to your mouth with something speared on the end which grew in the soil under your shoes; or which walked, chewed, and passed wind. Just stop. With the existence of Snap of the Glove, you and your entire way of life have just become passe.
Since the advent of lab-created meats, known as Lab-produced Animal Muscle Fibers, or L'Pamf, the disconnect between the farm and table has become a valley-swallowing laceration; the blind spot that obscures the slaughterhouse reality behind the tender fillet has become a glorious, lightless gulf of lab-created black. There is nothing of the farm at Snap of the Glove. No pastoral scenes adorn the walls, no floral arrangements grown in decaying humus clutter the tables, no cotton table linens stitch your fine dining experience to humanity's agrarian past or simian nature.
Oh, there are steaks and flowers and tablecloths. There is Meyer lemon gelee with avocado foam. And caramelized cauliflower ribbons with champagne-mango emulsion and an exhalation of anxious she-crab breath. Spring lettuce puree-cloud hovering over rabbit-crusted fingerling potatoes and cherry clafoutis drowning in creme Chantilly. All of your favorites are here. None, however, bear the weighty and embarrassing memory of field, hoe, net, sunshine, or crate. All are lovingly created in Snap of the Glove's cuisine-laboratorie by Dr. Chef Kit Blackeyes Clark.
Dr. Kit, as she prefers, has put the sleeve-shine on the apple of lab-created, nature-inspired foodstuffs with her top secret perfection of L'Pamf. While food scientists worldwide were making magazine covers by creating a frightening little fatless hockey puck of "lab burger" for journalists to chew with a production price tag of $200,000, Dr. Kit was hidden away in her subterranean kitchen-lab far below the sidewalks of Manhattan perfecting--to the incandescent soundscape of Mozart's lost symphonies--not just meat, but spring lamb. Tiger prawns. Quail breast. Squab terrine. Not only this, but through her own mysterious imaginings she conjured custard without benefit of egg or bird, aubergine sans stem or stalk, black trumpet mushrooms without soil or shadow. And more. Through dealings with person or persons unknown at an exhibition hall in Yokohama, Japan, and after countless sleepless weeks of trial and error, Dr. Kit recently succeeded in extracting a complete nucleic DNA strand from a frozen mammoth calf specimen, heralding the arrival on the Snap of the Glove spring menu of slow roasted calf of mammoth fillet with chanterelles, garden purslane, baby beet puree and black Muscat jus.
That barrier broken, like runners surging en masse to quash the toppled four-minute mile, came on gleaming surgical steel plates pushed on gurneys from Snap of the Glove's cuisine-laboratorie, a parade of dishes to enflame, to possess, to swallow up the mind and liquidate the senses: spice-roasted dodo with crispy panisse and sweet onion relish; elephant bird foie gras au torchon with nectarine, raspberries and fennel; elevated macaroni and cheese made with milk of the giant ground sloth and served with braised applewood smoked bacon and shaved black winter truffles; a sweet butter poached cub pairing: saber toothed cat and Tasmanian tiger together at play with fine herbes salad and a charred eggplant "ball of yarn"; nest of passenger pigeon squabs with pine nut salt and Genovese basil pistou, charcoal blackened wooly rhino with vaporized and precipitated Persian cucumbers, a triumphant dessert of candied Carolina parakeet, and in a bold post-dessert move which I must admit even threw this well-seasoned critic off her balance, a tenderloin of Neanderthal Man, served swaddled in a crepe de farine de gourgane aux champignons de la ferme with smoked bone marrow, fava beans, Bordelaise jus and a delicate chermoula-carrot mousseline.
As this dish was presented to me, a hush came over the entire dining room. The complete Snap of the Glove staff stood at attention for my reaction, resplendent in their custom polypropylene coveralls, goggles pushed to the tops of their heads in anticipation. Dr. Kit herself placed the silvery dish before me, and as she enunciated the nature of the featured protein, which even in my fully satiated state had until that moment elicited no small salivary excitement in me, I leapt to my feet in shock and what I can only now think must have been culinary worship, which feels remarkably like panic or even nausea. As I shot to my feet, Dr. Kit, who clutched newly autoclave-sterilized cutlery for me in her godlike hands, swooped to apprehend me as I nearly fell, inadvertently driving a scalpel into the meat of my thigh. She apologized profusely and attended to my wound, handing the bloody instrument off to a nearby technician who rushed it away, wrapping it in a biohazard ice pack, presumably to avoid upsetting the other diners.
Remember, now, there is no slaughter, no guilt, no hooded executioner behind the dishes at Snap of the Glove. Every bite is clean and history-free, blinking into existence in the subterranean cuisine-laboratorie under Dr. Kit's loving latex fingertips. The Neanderthal Man was absolutely delicious. Savage. Yet bursting on the tongue with complexity and promise.
Next month: I have been invited back by Dr. Kit herself to sample a brand new menu item, one she promises will set the culinary world on its ear and myself into a spin. Let's find out together, shall we? Until then, manger avec courage!
--- Astrid Ata
The End
This story was first published on Tuesday, July 19th, 2016


I'll never forget a short story I read as a child called "A Most Incredible Meal." It featured the preparation for the table of an extinct creature found frozen in ice. The story stayed with me, particularly the revelation of the creature itself's last meal, also preserved. This idea mingled with my fascination with molecular gastronomy, with the idea of the resurrection of extinct animals (or unwitting restaurant critics) through extraction of preserved DNA and cloning, and my affection for lyrically crafted food criticism, the more rarefied the better. "Snap of the Glove" is one of a series of stories in which I've explored the possibilities and moral implications of our newfound ability to create unlimited expanses of skin, flesh, bone, even entire creatures in a lab--or kitchen--setting.

- Jennifer Sexton

RATE THIS STORY
Please click to rate this story from 1 (ho-hum) to 7 (excellent!):

Please don't read too much into these ratings. For many reasons, a superior story may not get a superior score.

4.6 Rocket Dragons Average

SHARE THIS STORY

JOIN MAILING LIST
Please join our mailing list and receive free daily sci-fi (your email address will be kept 100% private):
 
Copyright Info
Tell a Friend
Send Feedback
About Us